HUSKY Program Coverage for Parents: Most Families Will Feel the Full Impact of Income Eligibility Cut Later in 2016

Back • Publication Date: April 18th, 2016

Authors: Sharon Langer, MEd, JD, Mary Alice Lee, PhD, and Dumingu Aparna Gomes, graduate student, Yale School of Public Health

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The Governor’s April 12th proposal recommends reducing HUSKY parent eligibility for the second time in less than twelve months. The proposal would reduce the HUSKY income limit for parents and other relative caregivers from 155% of the federal poverty level (FPL) to 138% FPL .  For a family of four that translates to annual income of $37,665 and $33,534, respectively.

The attached brief explains that in 2015,  the State of Connecticut cut income eligibility for parents and relative caregivers of children in the HUSKY program from 201% FPL  to 155% FPL.  This action, taken as part of a larger effort to cut state spending, affected 18,903 adults in HUSKY A (Medicaid).  For 17,688 (93.6 percent) parents with earned income, loss of eligibility was deferred for one year until August 1, 2016.

However, among the almost 650 parents who actually lost coverage on September 1, 2015, just one in four enrolled in a qualified health plan through Access Health CT.   Three in four parents did not enroll or have since dropped coverage and may be uninsured. 

Cutting income eligibility for parents is a big step backward in Connecticut’s longstanding commitment to covering low-income families.

Please read more to find out what we learned about the cut to parent eligibility last year and its implications for the almost  20,000 parents who will receive cutoff notices from HUSKY later this year.