City & State: NYC jail inmates lack health care after release

“But upon reentry into the community, Ferguson was unable to get the critical heart medication he needed. Although Correctional Health Services provided him with a prescription, his Medicaid stopped covering him for outpatient treatment while in jail, so he had no insurance to pay for it. Without any money to pay out of pocket, the pharmacist could not fill his prescription. He was too afraid to go to an emergency room during the pandemic. In mid-June, Ferguson was in the hospital due to his heart problems, where he finally got his medication.

“It wouldn’t have been that hard to do, to release him with some amount of medication,” Kaitlin Jackson, Ferguson’s attorney at the Bronx Defenders to whom he gave permission to share his story, told City & State. “Or if there’s a provider on the outside, like, this is a doctor to go to, this is a person who can advocate for you or help you with your Medicaid – but none of that was set up.”

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