Health Care for All Immigrants

It’s Popular and Connecticut Can Afford It

Connecticut is on its way to living up to the values of a majority of state voters who believe that health care is a right for EVERYBODY.  

As a member of the HUSKY 4 Immigrants Coalition, Universal is fighting to expand HUSKY coverage to all income eligible people, regardless of immigration status. Along with coalition partners we have worked on two research projects that provide crucial information to inform the cause. 

Covering all residents regardless of immigration status is popular

An opinion research poll of Connecticut voters conducted in February shows that opening access to HUSKY (Medicaid) has the support of a majority of Connecticut voters, by a 57% to 36% margin, with only a small percentage undecided. 

Opinion research commissioned by Universal and conducted by Lake Research Partners in February 2022
See link to fact sheet, below, for more poll results.

Covering everyone is affordable and delivers savings for hospitals

Policy research completed in June by the RAND Corporation, estimates the benefits and costs if HUSKY is offered regardless of immigration status to all immigrants currently barred from coverage. 

Results include:

  • Uninsured rates drop from 57% to 39%
  • Roughly 21,600 currently uninsured people gain coverage
  • The cost to the state is estimated to be $83.6 million

The cost estimate represents approximately 3% of the state’s annual Medicaid budget.  In addition, 
a portion of the expense could likely be recouped from the Federal government through waivers. 

The report also studies the cost and impact of providing subsidized private insurance for those with incomes above Medicaid eligibility, equivalent to what is currently offered to other state residents through Access Health CT. This results in coverage for another 2,100-3,400 people.  

An additional benefit reported in the study is that Connecticut’s hospitals realize savings of an estimated $63-$72 million due to a reduction in uncompensated care.

Connecticut is on the right path

Thanks to laws passed in 2021 and 2022, Connecticut has finally begun to address this major gap – coverage for all immigrants. 

Income eligible children up to age 12 can enroll in Connecticut’s HUSKY (Medicaid) program starting January 1, 2023 and will be able to remain in the program through age 19, regardless of immigration status. Pregnant women are now covered by HUSKY for prenatal and post- partum care. 

The fight is not over

But what about current teenagers? What about their parents? What about immigrant adults who have lived here less than five years or young adults with DACA (Dreamer) status? 

Connecticut’s progress in covering children is laudable. That still leaves thousands of people without access to care, who are unable to address symptoms early and avoid serious illness. 

We need to finish the job! It’s time that all people in our state gain access to health coverage!

Universal is grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their support of research regarding immigrant coverage in Connecticut


Resources

Immigrant Coverage Poll Fact Sheet 
Immigrant Coverage Opinion Research Report, Lake Research Partners 
Expanding Insurance Coverage to Undocumented Immigrants in Connecticut, RAND Corporation, Preethi Rao, Federico Girosi, Christine Eibner, June 7, 2022 

Report estimates cost to insure undocumented CT residents, CT Mirror, Katy Golvala and Yehyun Kim, June 29, 2022