Gaps or Loss of Coverage for Children in the HUSKY Program: A 2016 Update

Back • Publication Date: July 29th, 2016

Authors: Mary Alice Lee, Ph.D.

Downloads: Download #1

Continuous health insurance coverage is an important aspect of quality in Connecticut’s HUSKY Program, ensuring uninterrupted access to preventive care and treatment for acute and chronic conditions.

This study investigated gaps or loss of HUSKY coverage in each of two years, 2014 and 2015, for children under 19 who were enrolled in HUSKY A (Medicaid) and B (CHIP).  Results were compared to 2012 and 2013. We found that:

  • Coverage continuity:  Most children who were enrolled in January 2014 were enrolled for the entire year; however, the percentage who were continuously enrolled in 2015 was far less.   In both years, the percentage of children who were continuously enrolled was greater for children who started the year in HUSKY A, compared with children in HUSKY B.  
  • Gaps in coverage for eligible children:  Among children enrolled in January and December 2014, less than two percent had a gap in coverage; however, that rate increased to 10 percent for children enrolled in January and December 2015.  It is likely that these children were eligible when they lost coverage.
  • Gaps associated with age-related eligibility redetermination:  As was the case in previous years, babies turning one and adolescents turning 18 were more likely than other children to have experienced gaps or loss of coverage in 2014 and 2015 when age triggered a review of eligibility. 

Coverage continuity is fundamental to program quality, so it is important to know just how tax dollars are used to ensure that children and their families have ongoing access to preventive services and needed care.   The Department of Social Services and Access Health CT should design and implement an approach to monitoring and reporting on coverage continuity and gaps within and across the public health insurance options for Connecticut’s families.