Noteworthy News

Enrolling Homeless in Medicaid Poses Challenges, Offers Hope

Enrolling the homeless in Medicaid poses numerous logistical challenges for government, providers, and caregivers but also offers the prospect of improving the lives of those who gain access to care.

Many low-income, homeless adults will be eligible for Medicaid for the first time in states that expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, but enrolling them in the program can be difficult:  they can be hard to find, hard to convince to apply, and hard to enroll because they lack such basics as a mailing address and telephone number.

iStock_000014445371XSmallYet bringing health care to such individuals could greatly improve their lives and perhaps help address their homelessness by ending the financial stresses that resulted in homelessness or improving their health to the point where they qualify for housing services.

It also offers the prospect of Medicaid reimbursement for the care that private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals provide to such patients, typically through their emergency departments.

Learn more about the challenges of enrolling the homeless and Medicaid and the benefits of Medicaid eligibility for the homeless in this New York Times article.

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