Governor Dannel Malloy proposed a 2016-2017 biennial budget that includes reduced eligibility for parents in HUSKY A, the state’s Medicaid program. These cuts would affect 34,000 working parents, potentially leaving many thousands with no health insurance, increased financial vulnerability, and limited access to care.
The proposed budget eliminates HUSKY coverage for:
- Parents who have children also enrolled in HUSKY and have family incomes between 138-201 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) (about $28,000- $40,000 for a family of three); and
- Pregnant women with family incomes at 138-263 percent of FPL (about $28,000 – $52,000 for a family of three).
The Governor’s proposal suggests that these parents can find affordable coverage by purchasing subsidized health insurance through Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance marketplace.
The Connecticut Health Foundation commissioned analysis of the likely consequences of the proposed policy change.
- Though Access Health CT offers subsidized coverage for these parents, their costs will increase by an average of $1,900/year for less comprehensive coverage (e.g., loss of dental benefits).
- Because of the high cost of health insurance even with subsidies, 7,000-10,000 parents will likely become uninsured
- For those parents who do purchase insurance, some will likely delay needed care due to out-of-pocket costs (e.g., copays, deductibles).
- For pregnant women, reduced access to care could lead to life-long health effects for their children, and higher health care costs down the road.
Child coverage will likely drop. Lower-income children are less likely to have health insurance coverage if their parents are uninsured, even when children remain eligible.
- Rachel Gershon, JD, MPH (author), is a senior research policy analyst at the Center for Health Law and Economics at the University of Massachusett Medical School.
- Katharine London, MD (author) is a principal at the Center for Health Law and Economics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
- Robert Seifert, MPA (author) is a principal at the Center for Health Law and Economics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.