EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A bill passed by state Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, that will require correctional officials to prescreen inmates for Medicaid eligibility prior to release and assist them with completing a Medicaid application has been signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“When people are released from prison, they may struggle to get back on their feet and adjust to their new living situation,” Greenwood said. “It makes sense to try to assist these individuals as they readjust, and by ensuring they can receive Medicaid benefits if they qualify as soon as possible, we can easily make a positive impact on their transition back to society.”
Greenwood served as the lead House sponsor of Senate Bill 1744, which mandates correctional officials screen inmates for Medicaid eligibility before release due to parole, probation, pardon, mandatory supervised release or final discharge. For those who qualify, correctional employees will assist with completing the Medicaid application. While the Department of Corrections is already required to give inmates the opportunity to fill out paperwork at least 45 days before release, Greenwood’s measure requires a prescreen.
“I hope that more individuals are encouraged and are able to apply for Medicaid assistance as soon as they can,” Greenwood said. “It’s one step in a series of steps in helping someone begin their new life.”