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15% of Husky Parents Get Insurance With One Month To Go Before Losing Temporary Coverage

by | Jul 1, 2016 1:34pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Health Care, Insurance, Jobs, State Budget

CTNewsJunkie file photo State officials announced Thursday that about 15 percent of the low-income parents who were about to lose their temporary insurance in July will continue to receive coverage.

Last year, because of budget cuts, the state said it was kicking 17,688 low-income parents off the Husky A health insurance plan. They were then provided with a year of temporary insurance coverage, called TMA, or temporary medical assistance.

As the deadline for the end of that temporary insurance approaches, Access Health CT officials said this week that 2,134 of those parents have enrolled in private insurance plans or a different Medicaid plan.

State officials initially expected that 17,688 low-income parents would be impacted by the 2015 budget changes. However, as of Thursday, the state revised that original number down to 13,811.

Officials with the Department of Social Services could not say what happened to the approximately 4,000 people it had initially estimated would fall into this category. A spokesman for the agency said individuals could have gotten employer-sponsored insurance, or they could have moved out of state, or their family size could have changed.

There was no precise reason given for the decrease in the original estimate of parents impacted by the budget cut.

“We need better tracking to see what happens to thousands of working parents as they lose coverage,” Ellen Andrews, executive director of the Connecticut Health Policy Project, said. “It’s great that they’ve reached 15 percent of HUSKY parents at risk of uninsurance, but we need to do much much more before the end of the month.”

There are still 11,677 working adults who will still need to find coverage by the end of the month based on the budgetary change in the income eligibility for access to the Husky A. The threshold dropped from 201 percent to 155 percent of the federal poverty level — that’s an income range of $37,665 to $48,843 for a family of four.

“These individuals who have not signed up need to do so as soon as possible,” Jim Wadleigh, CEO of Access Health CT, said. “Nearly 75 percent of those who have enrolled in a QHP plan did so with a broker and roughly 80 percent had a past interaction with the call center.”

Of the 2,134 adults who enrolled in coverage, 635 people have enrolled with a private insurance company and 1,499 have enrolled in a new Medicaid plan.

Access Health CT, which has already sent letters and postcards to those impacted, will begin calling individuals who haven’t signed up for a new plan over the next two weeks. It has also expanded the hours of its enrollment fairs for the month of July.

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