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Thousands May Lose Health Insurance in August

Parents losing HUSKY A coverage should schedule medical appointments before July 31. (Ilmicrofono Oggiono/
Parents losing HUSKY A coverage should schedule medical appointments before July 31. (Ilmicrofono Oggiono/
June 8, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. - Thousands of low-income parents in Connecticut who will lose access to Medicaid in August need to start planning now.

On August first lower income eligibility limits for HUSKY A, the state's Medicaid program, will take effect and about 18,000 low-income parents will lose their insurance.

According to Ellen Andrews, executive director of the Connecticut Health Policy Project, some will simply need to reapply; others may need to buy health insurance through Access Health CT, the state marketplace, but that can be very expensive.

"In the past it has been a small percentage of people who've been able to afford that," says Andrews. "So many of them will likely become uninsured and it's important for people to prepare for that, to know that it's coming and know what their options are."

Children will not lose their coverage with the new income limits, but parents should call Access Health CT to explore their options for maintaining their health insurance.

Andrews says right now a 25-year-old parent, with one child, who earns $28,000 a year is eligible for HUSKY A insurance, but after August 1, that parent may have to buy insurance through the marketplace.

"The lowest cost premium they'll have is $124.16 per month," she says. "That's a lot, to go from zero to that, to find that money in a pretty limited budget."

She says out of pocket expenses with that medical plan could be as much as $1,800 a year.

But it's important not to put off health care, Andrews says. She points out there are other options, such as accessing community health centers.

"You can call Info Line at 211 and find the closest one," she says. "They don't offer insurance, it's not coverage, but they do offer services based on your income on a sliding scale."

Andrews advises those in danger of losing coverage to schedule doctor appointments and to get 90-day refills on all prescription medications before July 31.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT