Nearly 90 percent of those leaving New Hampshire's prison system are eligible for health care coverage under the state's expanded Medicaid program. And while they make up a small fraction of the more than 30,000 who have signed up so far, health and corrections officials say getting them enrolled could have far-reaching effects.
Department of Corrections and health officials have been working closely together since enrollment began in July to sign up the roughly 140 people who leave the prison system each month. Assistant Corrections Commissioner Helen Hanks says before the expansion, parolees were left on the edge of a cliff, but now they have a bridge to health care coverage.
She says the substance abuse benefits included in that coverage could be key to lowering the state's recidivism rate.