Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the Obama Administration has awarded a $5.2 million performance bonus to Connecticut for "ongoing and strong efforts to identify and enroll' children in public health care coverage.
This announcement marks the first time that Connecticut has received a performance bonus from HHS. In prior years, the state did not meet the criteria necessary in order to qualify. This year, the state implemented a fifth program feature -- a process called "presumptive eligibility' -- in the Children's Health Insurance Program (HUSKY B) in April, a policy change that likely prompted today's announcement. Through presumptive eligibility, children screened and deemed eligible at community health centers and other qualified sites can receive medical services before the formal eligibility process is completed. This process has been used for many years in the Medicaid (HUSKY A) portion of the program.
Governor Malloy said the award recognizes the accomplishments of state employees, community health workers, advocates and federal partners who have made quality and affordable health coverage a reality for Connecticut children and teenagers.
"Many dedicated people throughout Connecticut, and in particular Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, have worked tirelessly over the years to make our HUSKY program one of the best in the nation," the Governor said. "It was Nancy's work when she was the State Comptroller that that got the ball rolling to create HUSKY in the first place. This performance bonus award recognizes these tremendous efforts, while encouraging us to continue the hard work necessary to move the program forward."
"I am proud that Connecticut is being recognized for our efforts to increase access to medical care for children," said Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman. "The idea that a child would be denied healthcare because of their parents' income is simply unacceptable."
"More of Connecticut's children now have the advantages health coverage provides," said Health and Human Services (HSS) Secretary Kathleen Sibelius. "And Connecticut parents now have the security of knowing their children can get the health care they need without worrying that an illness could leave them with a lifetime of medical bills."
Cindy Mann, director of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, cited Connecticut for "ongoing efforts to enroll children in health insurance coverage programs and commitment to a simplified and family-friendly enrollment and renewal process."
Performance bonuses were awarded to Connecticut and 22 other states for the 2011 federal fiscal year under the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009.
Since 1998, Connecticut's HUSKY program has combined Medicaid coverage for children in families earning at or below 185% of the federal poverty level with Children's Health Insurance Program coverage for children in higher-income families. Consumer information is available at 1-877-CT-HUSKY or www.huskyhealth.com.