Births to Mothers with HUSKY Program and Medicaid Coverage: 2006

Back • Publication Date: October 17th, 2008

Authors: Mary Alice Lee, Ph.D., Karen Sautter, M.P.H., & Amanda Learned, B.A.

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One in three births in the state in 2006 was to a mother enrolled in HUSKY A (Medicaid managed care) or fee-for-service Medicaid. This report finds that babies born to mothers in Connecticut’s Medicaid program are at risk for poor birth outcomes. Compared to all other babies in Connecticut, rates for low birthweight, preterm, and teen births were higher for babies born to mothers covered by HUSKY A and fee for service Medicaid. While the percentage of births to teens in the HUSKY Program declined from 2000 to 2006, the percentage of births to mothers 19 and under was ten times higher for mothers in the HUSKY Program coverage than for all other mothers.

The rate of smoking among pregnant women in HUSKY (14%) is about six times higher than the smoking rate for other mothers in Connecticut (just over 2%). Moreover, babies born to mothers in HUSKY who smoked were more likely to be born preterm or low birthweight. Connecticut is one of just seven states that does not cover treatment for tobacco dependence in its Medicaid program because legislation that was enacted in 2003 was never funded.