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A Primer on Using Medicaid for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness and Tenants of Permanent Supportive Housing

Martha Burt, Carol Wilkins, Gretchen Locke; Abt Associates


October 10, 2014
Ample evidence documents the potential for people with complex health and behavioral health conditions who have been homeless to achieve housing stability, pursue recovery, manage chronic health conditions, and stay out of hospitals – if they receive appropriate health care, other services and supports, and care coordination.

On January 1, 2014, in states that have chosen to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, nearly all chronically homeless people who lacked health insurance became eligible for Medicaid. Even in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs, Medicaid still offers eligible beneficiaries experiencing homelessness critical health and supportive services.

This primer offers state Medicaid officials and other interested parties strategies for using Medicaid to meet the needs of this very vulnerable population--some strategies that have succeeded in the past and some that are emerging under provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Read the related report:

Medicaid and Permanent Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless Individuals: Emerging Practices from the Field
North America