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Do Prisoners Have the Right to Medical Care?

Do Prisoners Have the Right to Medical Care?

If you or a loved one has recently been incarcerated, you may have a lot of questions. Just because someone has been deemed a criminal and imprisoned doesn’t mean that they forego their rights as a citizen of the United States. Even so, you may be unsure about how those rights apply to someone who’s now in jail. One common point of confusion surrounding prisoners and their rights involves medical treatment and how it’s administered. Here’s what you should understand about prisoners’ right to medical care.

The short answer is that prisoners all have the right to medical care, regardless of the type of care. This includes attention that treats or diagnoses illnesses that are contracted while in prison as well as long-term, chronic diseases or pre-existing conditions. Although it’s unfortunate, there are times that you or another prisoner might get sick or injured in jail. While steps are being taken to prevent jail riots and other fights from happening, there is a chance that you may need medical treatment for an injury that you sustain at the hands of another inmate. Additionally, prisoners are entitled to mental health care as appropriate for their conditions. In some cases, seeing a therapist or psychiatrist may be required as part of an inmate’s sentence. It’s also important to note that prisons must abide by ADA regulations. This extends beyond medical care to also include prison programs and other activities as established by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

One thing to note about being incarcerated is that special conditions apply to your use of medical insurance. This is because while you’re in jail the cost of medical care is covered by the prison; not by your insurer. This means that if you’re thinking of applying for insurance through the healthcare marketplace and are currently incarcerated, you won’t be eligible due to your incarceration. That being said, it’s important that you verify that you’re actually incarcerated and meet the requirements in order to avoid paying a penalty. This is because anyone on house arrest or in another residential criminal reform facility is still eligible for coverage.

As a result of these sorts of regulations, some people may not choose to enroll in Medicaid if they become of age while serving their prison term. That being said, if you’re arrested and are already enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare, it may be worth keeping your insurance if you can afford to. This depends on how long your prison term is, of course, but it can help you avoid a lapse in coverage which may be problematic if you need care soon after being released from prison. If you’re unsure whether or not you qualify, it’s a good idea to talk to your lawyer prior to being incarcerated, as they can help advise you on the proper course of action to take.

As you can see, prisoners are entitled to medical care while they’re serving their sentences in prison. The care can’t cut corners, either, and needs to be the type of treatment that would be deemed adequate by most medical standards. Additionally, the care they receive, regardless of whether it’s a dental treatment or physical treatment, is required for both short-term issues as well as long-term or chronic conditions. If you want to share this information with someone you know who’s incarcerated, it’s simple to reach out to them with the right contact information. One way to properly source that information is to find an inmate using GoLookUp. GoLookUp offers a variety of free information in an online database and is an authority in the prison sector when it comes to personal information.