The Connecticut Senate Democrats are committed to ensuring that all Connecticut residents are able to obtain quality, affordable health care.
Over 340,000 Connecticut residents don’t have health insurance. Research shows that being unable to access health care coverage can take a toll on not only an individual’s physical health, but also their financial health. If you or a loved one find that traditional health insurance is out of reach, you should know that you may be eligible for health care coverage through one of several state-administered health care programs.
Connecticut residents should also be aware of changes related to federal health care reform. While the Affordable Care Act was passed at the federal level, its effects can be felt right here in Connecticut.
Connecticut has a number of programs in place to provide health care to people without insurance. These programs—which include HUSKY Health and the Charter Oak Health Plan—are administered by the state Department of Social Services (DSS).
Medicaid is a health care program for low-income and disabled individuals that is funded jointly by the federal and state governments. Individuals enrolled in Medicaid are eligible to receive a number of services including doctor visits, hospital care, behavioral health services and prescription medications.
The bulk of Connecticut’s Medicaid program is known as the HUSKY Health program. The program consists of four parts:
Uninsured state residents ages 19-64 who are not eligible for HUSKY may be eligible for the Charter Oak Health Plan. Individuals enrolled in Charter Oak are asked to pay premiums based on their income. In addition to the premiums, people enrolled in Charter Oak must also pay co-insurance, co-payments and various deductibles.
The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010. While some aspects of the law went into effect immediately, others will go into effect in January, 2014. Many of these provisions have a direct impact on Connecticut residents, including the Medicaid expansion, the creation of the state health insurance exchange and changes to private insurance coverage.
Beginning in 2014, the federal government will pick up the cost for states that expand Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (approximately $15,850 for an individual). The federal government will provide 100 percent of the funding for the expansion for the first three years, with states paying 10 percent of the costs of the expansion in later years.
Connecticut is participating in the Medicaid expansion through HUSKY D, Connecticut’s Medicaid program for low-income adults. Depending on your monthly income and where you live (up to $622/month in southwestern Connecticut and up to $507/month in northern, eastern or western Connecticut), you may qualify for HUSKY D today, while individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level may qualify for the Medicaid expansion beginning January 1, 2014. To see if you qualify for HUSKY D, visit the HUSKY website.
The Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to have health insurance and, to advance that goal, requires all states to be part of health insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses by January 2014.
The exchanges will be an insurance marketplace, where individuals and small businesses can compare and purchase health plans offered by licensed insurance companies. Individuals will also be able to use the exchanges to see if they are eligible for Medicaid.
Connecticut’s health insurance exchange is called Access Health CT. Beginning October 1, 2013, Connecticut residents will be able to shop for insurance through the Access Health CT website, at Access Health CT storefronts in some of our major cities, or by working one-on-one with insurance brokers or Access Health CT Assisters. Coverage for insurance policies offered through the exchange will start on January 1, 2014.
Other features of the Affordable Care Act include:
If you have questions about your health insurance coverage, or if you would like more information about these and other aspects of the ACA, please visit the website of the Office of the Healthcare Advocate.
The Connecticut General Assembly’s Public Health Committee, Human Services Committee and Insurance Committee each play a role in developing, researching and proposing legislation related to health care and the needs of the uninsured and underinsured in our state.
Senator Terry Gerratana, Senate Chair, Public Health Committee
860-240-0584, or 1-800-842-1420
Senator Gayle Slossberg, Senate Chair, Human Services Committee
860-240-0482, or 1-800-842-1420
Senator Joseph Crisco, Senate Chair, Insurance & Real Estate Committee
860-240-0189, or 1-800-842-1420