Connecticut: Advocates push for Medicaid coverage to expand to undocumented minors


Right on top of my last post regarding Maryland moving legislation to allow undocumented immigrants to enroll in ACA exchange policies (at full price) is this story out of Connecticut:

Advocates spoke before the Connecticut Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, pushing to include more immigrant children in the Husky Medicaid program.

The hearing before the budget committee witnessed a significant turnout, with 260 individuals offering testimonies supporting Husky expansion in the upcoming state budget. Advocates emphasized the need to close the coverage gap for immigrant and undocumented children aged 16 to 18.

...Segovia says it is difficult to come up with an estimated cost to cover the population between 15 and 18, but it could be approximately $4.5 million. While this may seem significant, she emphasized the long-term benefits of health care access to vulnerable communities, outweighing the minimal budgetary impact.

...“At the current rate of Medicaid reimbursement, which at times is below 60% of the 2007. Medicare rates for many physicians financially penalize those providing care to our most vulnerable population,” Watson said.

...Expanding Medicaid eligibility to include undocumented and legally present recent immigrant populations would boost insurance enrollment by around 21,400 people, a 43% increase compared to current enrollment, according to a 2022 study by RAM Corp. The estimated cost to the state for this expansion in 2023 is $83 million, the study found. However, this figure doesn't include potential savings from other sources, the report said, indicating that hospitals could save between $63 million to $72 million due to reduced spending on uncompensated care.

I have to admit that I've always been a bit confused as to the distinction between Children's Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program...I believe CHIP picks up where Children's Medicaid leaves off in terms of household income, but I'm a bit fuzzy as to the difference in funding mechanisms and why this particular population would fall under the umbrella of Medicaid instead of CHIP. I'll update this if/when I learn the answer.