By Stephanye R. Clarke
If Governor Malloy gets his way under his proposed budget approximately 34,000 Connecticut parents who gross more than 138% of the Federal Poverty Level ($27724.20 for a family of three) will lose their Medicaid coverage. Like many, we are concerned about what the loss of coverage could mean to the health, stability and care of their families.
Let’s imagine the budget is passed: how would this change play out for a single mother with two children earning a salary of $28,000? Thankfully, her children will still be covered—all of their medical and dental services continue to be fully covered under HUSKY. But her health care story will be written very differently. She will likely need to enroll in the state’s healthcare marketplace (Access Health CT), may have to switch providers and be in a different network than her children.
Even if she is eligible for help with her health care premiums via tax credits, there is still the likelihood of some premiums and copays—items she’d previously not had to squeeze into her meager monthly budget. What are the tough choices she and other parents will have to make? What about daycare, transportation, rent, utilities and food? Will parents be forced to sacrifice any or many of these basic needs to cover premiums, deductibles and copays? And if they choose not to pay for coverage and opt to pay the penalty, what happens if/when they get sick?
According to The Basic Economic Security Tables for CT, a single parent working at a job that does not provide benefits with a preschool and school-aged child, living in an urban community in Connecticut needs to make approximately $6700 monthly ($80,400 annually) to have economic security. The families who stand to be most impacted by this proposal make half of that, or less. Creating additional barriers for people who work hard to build security and keep their families afloat seems to be a strange way to balance a budget. This plan, if approved, will drill holes in the dreams and stability of too many Connecticut families.
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CT Mirror articles:
-More CT Mirror coverage about Governor Malloys 2015 Budget