Connecticut has been largely successful in enrolling children and their families in the HUSKY Program, especially during the recent economic downturn. However, many children and families have difficulties staying enrolled, even when eligible and in need of coverage. This report examines enrollment in 2011 and finds:
- An estimated 76,000 children and adults were newly enrolled in the HUSKY Program. This number was similar to the count in 2010, but down somewhat from previous years.
- The number of new enrollees far exceeded the net increase in enrollment. On average, net enrollment increased by just 11 for every 100 newly enrolled children and adults in 2011.
Growth in Medicaid and CHIP is a function of both new enrollment and staying enrolled. Eligibility and program cost affect a family’s decisions about applying and renewing coverage. However, the results of this study and earlier reports have shown that retaining eligible families is problematic, especially for those renewing coverage. After having adopted strategies for simplifying applications, it is time for Connecticut to address the limitations of the eligibility management system, procedures, and staffing that make timely renewal of coverage possible. As Connecticut builds its health insurance exchange, the eligibility management systems, policies and procedures must be fully integrated to ensure continuous, well-coordinated coverage for children and families in the HUSKY Program.