Keeping Kids Covered: Continuing Federal Funding for Connecticut’s HUSKY Program

Back • Publication Date: September 9th, 2014

Authors: Sarah Iverson, Sharon D. Langer, M.Ed., J.D., and Mary Alice Lee, Ph.D.

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The HUSKY Program in Connecticut provides health insurance for over 300,000 children under Medicaid (HUSKY A) and Connecticut’s separate Children’s Health Insurance Program (HUSKY B). 

The HUSKY Program is funded with state and federal matching dollars. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) authorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) thru 2019, but federal funding is only guaranteed through 2015. If Congress does not extend funding for CHIP before the end of 2014, it will put more than 12,000 Connecticut children in HUSKY B at risk of losing coverage and will jeopardize an estimated $39 to $76 million in federal health care dollars for Connecticut in the next fiscal year.  Congress needs to act soon so that Connecticut can count on these federal monies as it crafts its state budget in early 2015.

CHIP not only funds Connecticut’s HUSKY B program but adds additional federal dollars to our HUSKY A (Medicaid) program.  As a result, the federal government pays two-thirds of the cost of coverage for children in HUSKY with family income above 133% of the federal poverty level.

HUSKY has been a good deal for the state and families by providing comprehensive and affordable coverage for about one out of four Connecticut children. Congress needs to extend funding by the end of 2014 so that Connecticut and other states can count on this funding in their 2015 budgets.