CT Medicaid Expansion Launches for Kids of Any Immigration Status

For Gabriela, the recent expansion of the state’s Medicaid program to children 12 and younger — regardless of their immigration status — means her 10-year-old son can now connect with a pediatrician, and she won’t have to worry as often about medical bills.

By Jenna Carlesso | CTMirror.org

Gabriela, whose family moved to Hartford from Honduras, does not have permanent legal status, and three of her children are unable to access regular medical care because they are uninsured. With the expansion, her 10-year-old son is now eligible for coverage.

The CT Mirror is not identifying Gabriela because of a pending immigration case.

“We go to community clinics, but it really isn’t enough, because the worry is still there that, if my son has a temperature or discomfort of any kind — even though they give you a discounted rate — you still have to come with money,” she said. “And that’s not always possible.”

She stresses over medical bills from hospital visits and the lack of regular access to health care for her kids.

“We can’t just bring our children to the doctor when it’s necessary,” she said. “I have to figure it out. We make teas, we do home remedies, we use [over-the-counter] medicine to bring down temperatures. But I don’t feel confident like I would if I could just go to the doctor.”

Lawmakers in 2021 approved an expansion of Medicaid, known as HUSKY in Connecticut, to children 8 and younger regardless of immigration status. Last year, they broadened the eligibility to kids 12 and younger, so long as their families meet the qualifying income limits for Medicaid.

Children from households that earn up to 201 percent of the federal poverty level qualify (for a family of four, that’s $55,778). Kids from households earning between 201 and 325 percent of the federal poverty level also qualify but are subject to an asset test.

Read the full article on CT Mirror