Overview: Acknowledging the return of many high-risk offenders to the community, criminal justice, social services agencies as well as local community providers have recognized the need to collaborate in order to monitor offenders while assisting them in the development and implementation of a concrete reentry plan.

Critical to the discharge planning process is the ability to access necessary medical insurance, enabling a smoother transition from incarceration to community living by providing for post-release treatment programs, medical appointments and related services. Access to this continuum of services enhances the transition process for the returning offender and contributes to the safety of our communities. Therefore, a partnership evolved between the Department of Correction (DOC) and MassHealth.

The DOC began working closely with MassHealth personnel to facilitate the application process for MassHealth benefits for releasing offenders. The DOC uses an electronic, on-line application for MassHealth by using the Virtual Gateway System. Correction Program Officers (CPO's) file the inmate's MassHealth application electronically from each institution.

Application Process: Sixty days prior to release, the CPO and the inmate complete a MassHealth application using the Virtual Gateway Application. Upon approval, a card is sent to the correctional facility and is then given to the inmate upon release. If the inmate has already been released, the card will be sent to his/her community address. DOC staff has access to several on-line applications which allow staff to monitor the MassHealth Application from beginning to end, providing the ability to review each case for trends, issues, timeliness and overall case management.