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Photo of Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr..

STATE SENATOR

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Listening to You

Enhancing Financial Security for People with Disabilities

Many individuals with disabilities face significant financial challenges. That's why I introduced House Bill 7032, a bill that will enhance and expand the use of tax-advantaged savings accounts, initially created by Connecticut's Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, also known as the ABLE Act. The ABLE Act allows families to contribute to a protected account to pay for disability-related expenses, such as transportation and housing, without jeopardizing a person's eligibility for Medicaid and Social Security. The proposed changes will simplify and accelerate adoption of these accounts in Connecticut and even allow Connecticut citizens to access ABLE plans from other states, so that they can shop for the plan with the most competitive offerings.

Stopping the Health Care Cost Shift to Connecticut Taxpayers

I introduced House Bill 7184, a bill to stop the routine practice of health insurance companies' denying coverage and payment for needed mental health treatment for their commercial policyholders' children, wrongly shifting these costs of care onto the taxpayers of Connecticut. At issue is the fact that a large number of children served by DCF, DMHAS and other state programs actually have private health insurance as dependents on their parent's health plans. If a child is in crisis and their parent's health plans deny care, doctors will nonetheless hospitalize a child and provide other needed care because there is no time to haggle with the insurance company. When this happens, Connecticut taxpayers foot the bill. Experts believe that these bills are costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year. HB 7184 will create a mechanism for the state to seek reimbursement for these expenses, freeing up additional funding to enable our state agencies to help more children in need.

VIDEO: Establishing Efficiencies Regarding State Reimbursement for Health Care Services

Promoting Civil Rights for Persons with Disabilities

Standing Up for People with Disabilities

Last week, I joined our state's leading disability rights advocates at Disability Action Day. As a cancer survivor and amputee, I know firsthand the value of independent living services and community-based care. We must continue to fight for self-determination and equality for people with disabilities.