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Report: Two Paths to Health Insurance for More CT Families

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Advocates would like to see Connecticut offer subsidies to help people pay for health insurance through the state marketplace. Similar programs are in place in Massachusetts, Vermont and California. (Gale Zucker/CT Health)
Advocates would like to see Connecticut offer subsidies to help people pay for health insurance through the state marketplace. Similar programs are in place in Massachusetts, Vermont and California. (Gale Zucker/CT Health)
 By Suzanne Potter - Producer, Contact
November 20, 2020

HARTFORD, Conn. -- As policymakers gear up to write a state budget for the next two years, a new report has suggestions on how to expand health-care coverage to more families in Connecticut.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the Nutmeg State make too much to qualify for Husky Health but still can't afford to buy health insurance on the open market. Tiffany Donelson, president and chief executive of the Connecticut Health Foundation, said the group of people who are uninsured includes about 48,000 folks who make between $17,600 and $25,000 a year.

"The group is 13% of the Connecticut population," she said, "but yet they represent 26% of those who are uninsured in our state."

The report suggested expanding Husky Health to include people who make up to 200% of the poverty level. The federal government and the state would split the bill, with each paying half. The other suggestion made in the report is to put significant resources toward subsidies to help people afford to buy coverage on the state exchange, Access Health Connecticut.

Donelson said the pandemic has caused a big spike in poverty, so the safety net will need to be widened accordingly.

"We know that with COVID-19, we may see more individuals lose their coverage, may lose some of their wages," she said.

The state Office of Project Management currently is working to produce a budget proposal for 2022 through 2024, which will be debated once the Legislature is seated in January.

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