Health Care Foundation urges governor and lawmakers to maintain parents on state's health plan

For Immediate Release
MARCH 12, 2013
Contact:  Alice Straight, 203-443-3415 (cell)
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In the wake of a report released today highlighting the negative impact of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s budget proposal to cut nearly 38,000 parents from the state’s health insurance program, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut is urging the governor and lawmakers to leave current HUSKY eligibility levels for low-income parents intact.

“Taking away the security of decent health coverage from people who already live on the economic edge and raising health care costs for us all clearly flies in the face of the Affordable Care Act and state health reforms,” said Frances G. Padilla, president of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. 

Under the governor’s proposal, HUSKY eligibility will be cut for parents with incomes between 133 and 185 percent of the federal poverty, or annual incomes of $25,975 to $36,131 for a family of three.  These residents would instead be expected to purchase private health coverage through Access Health CT, the new health insurance exchange established by the state under the federal Affordable Care Act. The state is expected to save $2,400 per person in Medicaid spending, according to a new report by the Connecticut Health Foundation, which is based on research it commissioned by the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Health Law and Economics

Between 7,500 to 11,000 parents covered through HUSKY would go without coverage because of their inability to afford the co-payments and premiums in the new exchange, according to the research, which examines the impact of the financial burden on low-income families, including barriers to accessing health care services for parents as well as their children. The report titled “Policy Analysis of Potential Impact of Governor’s Budget Proposal on HUSKY Parents” is available on the Connecticut Health Foundation website.

In addition to creating daunting financial obstacles for parents working in low wage jobs, Padilla said adding more people to the ranks of the uninsured will increase uncompensated care at hospitals which will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher health insurance rates.  Separating parents and children into different  health insurance programs may also create discontinuity in care and reduce access to health care for low- income families.

“Shifting health- care costs from the state to moms and dads who work in low-wage jobs seems unfair and ultimately increases the cost of coverage for all of us,” Padilla said.
Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut is an independent, nonprofit philanthropy based in Meriden, Conn.  It supports research-based policy, advocacy and public education that advances the achievement of quality, affordable health care for everyone in the state.
To learn more, visit the foundation’s website at www.universalhealthct.org. Follow the foundation on Facebook.

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