California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 720


Introduced by Assembly Member Skinner

February 21, 2013


An act to add Section 4011.11 to the Penal Code, relating to inmates.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 720, as introduced, Skinner. Inmates: health care enrollment.

Existing law provides for the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services, under which qualified low-income individuals receive health care services. The Medi-Cal program is, in part, governed and funded by federal Medicaid Program provisions. Existing federal law prohibits persons who are involuntarily incarcerated in jail from obtaining these services, but permits persons detained in jail, but not sentenced to jail, to be eligible for services, as specified.

This bill would require the county sheriff, or his or her designee, to assist all individuals sentenced to county jail who are otherwise eligible for federal Medicaid benefits to enroll in the Medi-Cal program available in that county 30 days before he or she is scheduled to be released. The bill would authorize the county sheriff, or his or her designee, to assist all individuals who are not sentenced to county jail but are detained in county jai, and who are eligible for federal Medicaid benefits to enroll in the Medi-Cal program available in that county 30 days before he or she is scheduled to be released. The bill would provide that individuals who are currently enrolled in the Medi-Cal program in the county where they reside would retain enrollment in that program while temporarily detained before any criminal conviction. The bill would require the county sheriff, or his or her designee, to supply appropriate information regarding the Health Care Exchange to those individuals detained in a county jail who are not eligible for federal Medi-Cal benefits and who do not have health care insurance, 30 days before their scheduled release. The bill would state findings and declarations of the Legislature regarding the above.

By imposing additional duties on local law enforcement entities, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

Section 4011.11 is added to the Penal Code, to
2read:

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4011.11.  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:

4(1) The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010,
5also known as Health Care Reform, is designed to ensure every
6American has access to affordable quality health care. To help
7ensure access, the federal low-income health insurance program,
8the Medi-Cal program in California, was expanded to previously
9uncovered populations, including single men making less than 133
10percent of the federal poverty line.

11(2) The Medi-Cal expansion is fully paid by the federal
12government until 2017, when the federal government will cover
1390 percent of the Medi-Cal expansion.

14(3) According to research done by the National Health Law
15Program, a large portion of individuals currently sentenced to
16county jail, and those recently released, are now eligible for
17Medi-Cal once released.

18(4) According to a study published in the American Journal of
19Public Health, many people coming out of county jail have
20significant medical, mental health, and substance abuse needs that
21are currently unmet.

P3    1(5) According to a study funded by the National Criminal Justice
2Reference Service, individuals who are enrolled in Medicaid on
3the day of release committed fewer repeat offenses, and the time
4between offenses was longer.

5(6) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to enroll
6individuals in the federally funded Medi-Cal program to provide
7medical, mental health, and substance abuse services to individuals
8when released from county jail, at no cost to the State of California
9until 2017 and at minimal state cost beginning in 2017.

10(b) The county sheriff, or his or her designee, shall assist all
11individuals sentenced to county jail who are otherwise eligible for
12federal Medicaid benefits to enroll in the Medi-Cal program
13available in that county 30 days before he or she is scheduled to
14be released.

15(c) The county sheriff, or his or her designee, may assist all
16individuals who are not sentenced to county jail but are detained
17in county jail and who are eligible for federal Medicaid benefits
18to enroll in the Medi-Cal program available in that county 30 days
19before he or she is scheduled to be released.

20(d) Consistent with federal regulations, individuals who are
21currently enrolled in the Medi-Cal program in the county where
22they reside shall retain enrollment in that program while
23temporarily detained before any criminal conviction.

24(e) The county sheriff, or his or her designee, shall supply
25appropriate information regarding the Health Care Exchange to
26those individuals detained in a county jail who are not eligible for
27federal Medi-Cal benefits and who do not have health care
28insurance, 30 days before their scheduled release.

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SEC. 2.  

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that
30this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
31local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
32pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
334 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



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