Illinois inmates who will soon get out of jail won't pass "Go" and get $200, but they may collect their Medicaid card.
A new plan working its way through the Illinois statehouse would start the enrollment, or re-enrollment, process for inmates 30 days before their release through the state's ObamaCare office.
State Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Chicago, is sponsoring the legislation that would have Illinois' Department of Health Care and Family Services enroll inmates automatically upon their release.
"You cannot get Medicaid in a state prison," Mark Heyrman a University of Chicago professor and advocate for Mental Health America Illinois, told lawmakers last month. "The Illinois Department of Corrections is paying for every nickel of your health care, including your mental health care. It is illegal to bill the federal government for that."
But once inmates are free, it is in Illinois' best interest to enroll them into Medicaid, where the feds pay the freight.
Illinois' prison system released 30,083 people last year, more than 27,000 men and nearly 2,500 women.