February 2013

The HUSKY Program for Children and Families: The Impact of the Governor's FY 2014 and FY 2015 Budget Proposals

Mary Alice Lee, Ph.D. and Sharon Langer, M.Ed., J.D.

This brief summarizes the Governor’s budget proposals for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015 that affect HUSKY.  In his plan, the Governor Malloy proposes to:

  • Eliminate coverage for HUSKY parents with income between 133% and 185% of the federal poverty level as of January 2014, with the expectation that instead they will purchase coverage through the state’s new health insurance exchange, created under the federal Affordable Care Act.  Low-income parents who want to purchase coverage through the exchange will be eligible for subsidized coverage, but will have to pay a portion of the monthly premiums and all of the co-payments for this private health insurance coverage, with subsidies. Research suggests that many individuals and families in this income range will not be able to afford coverage on the exchange, even with subsidies, and will become uninsured.
  • Maintain the income eligibility limit for pregnant women at 250% of the federal poverty level. The budget maintains coverage for children in the HUSKY (Medicaid) and HUSKY B (CHIP) as required by federal law.
  • Expand coverage to individuals on HUSKY D (Medicaid for low-income adults without children) to 133% of the federal poverty level under a state option in the Affordable Care Act. Beginning in January 2014, the federal government will reimburse the state for the full cost of coverage for all HUSKY D enrollees.  As a result, the state is expected to save hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade in costs associated with this Medicaid expansion.
  • Reduce funding for the 2-1-1/United Way HUSKY Infoline by 52% in FY14 and eliminate all funding in FY15.
  • Reduce by more than 60% the state funding for community-based Healthy Start programs that assist pregnant women to access health coverage and prenatal care.
  • Eliminate funding for independent performance monitoring in the HUSKY Program ($219,000 per year, though 50% of this cost is reimbursed by the federal government).
  • Reduce funding for expansion of school-based health centers.
  • Eliminate millions of dollars for hospitals, providers (including community health centers) and pharmacies.
Issue Areas:
Budget and Tax, Health