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  Improving Connecticut's Health Through Information

Premium Assistance Fact Sheet

Governor Rowland's Small Employer Health Insurance Subsidy Program: Complicated and Premature

What is it?

Eligible low-income individuals and families (under $16,391 for individuals, $27,787 for a family of three) would get state subsidies to help pay the cost of health insurance from their employers. The costs of the program will be paid for by benefit cuts and copayments and premiums on other low-income HUSKY parents. Other states have not been successful with similar programs.

Will it work?

Maybe Maybe Not
Could reduce the number of uninsured in CT Could increase the number of uninsured in CT
All family members are in the same plan for up to 5000 families in new program Separates parents from children's plan for up to 20,000 current HUSKY families
Reduces the stigma of public coverage for participants Could strengthen current HUSKY stigma
Leverages private employer dollars Very complex, difficult to administer
Unfair eligibility based on employer offer of benefits through a state-approved purchasing pool, e.g. CBIA Unfair- low-income HUSKY parents pay the costs of the program
Other states have not been successful Offers less comprehensive benefit packages

What should we do?

Study the idea further. Move planning from the small workgroup to a public process emphasizing consumer input.
  
Tie HUSKY parents' benefit cuts and costs to enrollment targets in new program so low-income parents don't pay for a program that may not work.
   
  • Ensure a fair system
  • Provide consumer and employer supports/education
  • Evaluate the program, collect data
  • Protect consumer rights and privacy
  • Provide wrap around services not included in employer package
  • Minimize HUSKY stigma
Consider other options to help CT's uninsured.

For more information