Consequences of Proposed Eligibility Reduction of HUSKY A Parents

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s 2014-2015 biennial budget proposal to reduce HUSKY A parent eligibility may adversely affect an estimated 37,500 low-income working adults with children and could lead to thousands of newly uninsured residents. Currently, parents who are enrolled in HUSKY A, the state’s Medicaid program, are individuals with:

  1. an annual family income between 133 percent and 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) [$25,975 – $36,131 annually for a family of three in 2013]; and
  2. have children under age 19 who are enrolled in the HUSKY A program

Under this proposal, a reduction in HUSKY A eligibility will take effect in 2014 for low-income parents who are not currently enrolled. Some current HUSKY A parent enrollees will receive up to one year of Medicaid transitional assistance, and lose Medicaid coverage in 2015. However, low-income parents will qualify to purchase subsidized private health insurance through the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange (also known as Access Health CT) beginning in 2014. While the federal government, under provisions of the Affordable Care Act, will provide premium assistance and cost sharing (copayment and deductible) subsidies, individuals’ annual out-of-pocket health insurance costs will increase from $0 to an average of $1,800 per year.

An estimated 7,500 to 11,000 HUSKY parents may forgo health insurance – even with federal subsidies – because of increased out-of-pocket costs. Others may curtail use of needed health care services. Research indicates that parents’ lack of insurance also may negatively affect their children’s coverage.

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