Thanks to the more than 160 people – including Governor Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Wyman — who attended our First for Kids Awards event last week! Through this event, Connecticut Voices celebrates individuals and organizations in Connecticut whose work and commitment to the state’s young people serves as a model. See our program guide for our profiles of each awardee and check out our photos of the event.
We’ll share more on our blog in the coming weeks about our awardees, but I’d like to start by talking about the United Way of Connecticut/2-1-1, which has helped over 1.6 million state residents over the last 15 years with signing up for and accessing the HUSKY health insurance program. At our event, Patricia Baker, President and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation, highlighted the valuable work of United Way’s HUSKY Infoline in making health care more accessible to Connecticut children and families, and Richard Porth, CEO of the United Way of Connecticut, explained their approach to assisting the public with health coverage questions and their collaboration with CT Voices. Watch our brief video highlights:
Connecticut’s HUSKY health insurance program can be a lifeline for uninsured children and families, but without a helping hand through the eligibility process, individuals may have a difficult time getting enrolled and staying enrolled in the program, particularly when program rules change or when computer-generated notices are difficult to decipher.
Over the past 15 years, the HUSKY Infoline has not only assisted HUSKY applicants directly with signing up for and accessing HUSKY services, but they also facilitated system improvements for HUSKY, identifying and tracking common and repeated challenges that families faced enrolling or accessing services. This early detection enabled the State to make system reforms.
For example, HUSKY Infoline staff reported that they were fielding repeated calls from parents whose babies turning one and teens turning 18 were losing coverage – even though the children remained eligible. Connecticut Voices for Children reviewed data on enrollment trends and was able to verity that babies and teens were indeed losing coverage at a much higher rate than other children, largely because of confusion about the need to renew health coverage for children in these age groups. In response, the Department of Social Services was able to take significant steps to reduce the number of one year-olds and teens who inadvertently lost coverage by revising notices, training staff, and making other systems improvements. Thanks to the two-way information provided to and by Infoline, more babies and teens are now keeping their HUSKY coverage.
Stay tuned to our blog in the coming weeks for more about the accomplishments of our other First for Kids Award winners!