The HUSKY Program in Transition: Enrollment and Health Services Utilization in 2008

Back • Publication Date: April 5th, 2011

Authors: Mary Alice Lee, Ph.D.

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This report describes enrollment trends and children’s health services utilization in the HUSKY Program in 2008, during a period when the program underwent significant change in the way services were administered and financed. In that year, the Department of Social Services assumed responsibility for authorizing health services, setting rates, and paying claims. The four participating managed care plans operated on a non-risk basis to administer various member and provider services. During the transition year, traditional fee-for-service Medicaid was offered as an enrollment option and was the default option for HUSKY members who did not select a new plan.

During the transition period, enrollment in HUSKY A grew by over 21,000 adults and children (6.8%). Enrollment in HUSKY B declined by nearly 3,000 children (17%), beginning in the latter half of the year. The well-child visit rate (57.0%) increased over the previous year, but was still not back to the level observed in 2006 (65.3%). The rate of developmental screening doubled, to 5.3% of children under age 6. Dental care utilization was unchanged from 2007, but up significantly from 2006. About 16,000 children who were enrolled for the entire year had no care at all; the corresponding rate (13.7%) was greater than the rate in 2007. Children who were covered in traditional Medicaid for any part of the year, i.e., not continuously enrolled with one or more of the participating health plans, were significantly less likely to have had well-child care or dental care and were more likely to have had emergency care or no care at all in the one-year period.