One of the ACA’s goals is the improvement of population health, including the elimination of health disparities. This goal cannot be achieved without addressing the needs of justice-involved individuals, a population with major health disparities and other challenges that impact health. Through Medicaid expansion, the ACA has created an opportunity for many justice-involved individuals to gain health insurance for the first time. Peer support providers could play an important role in bringing justice-involved individuals into the health care system, delivering culturally competent services, and drawing on shared experiences to help clients overcome their often interrelated barriers to health and community re-entry.
Matt Bechelli, COCHS