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HUSKY Changes Affect Access to Providers
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Mary Held and her seven-year-old son  are insured by HUSKY.  She talked about the administrative hassles she went through due to: Photo by Shomial AhmadMary Held, a HUSKY Enrollee talked about the administrative hassles she went through due to: Photo by Shomial AhmadHealth care advocates say more than two-thirds of the people enrolled in Connecticut’s HUSKY program will be affected when the state makes changes.

Beginning July 1st, the state will have chosen new insurers for the HUSKY plan after a bid process. 330,000 people are enrolled in HUSKY, an insurance program for children and disabled adults. New Haven Legal Aid attorney Sheldon Toubman supports a bill that would limit changes to HUSKY.

“This bill would stop the return of HMOs running the program. When I say HMO's, I mean capitated HMOs. They get paid a fixed amount of money per member per month.”

The bill would also ensure HUSKY’s independence from Governor Rell's Charter Oak Plan. Toubman says that more than 100,000 individuals had to change providers in April when two participating companies left the system. He says that having another set of insurers entering July 1st will cause further disruption to families who recently had to figure out new health care providers. A couple of parents at the conference spoke about the administrative hassles when they had to make changes in April.

The Department of Social Services, which currently runs the HUSKY program, says it has received bids from three insurance companies. DSS spokesman David Dearborn says a bid process hasn’t happened since the program’s inception ten years ago. He also says a gradual transition in choosing enrollment-- from the beginning of July to the end of December--will ensure that many administrative hassles will be avoided.