Conn. Halts Hike in Kids’ Health Insurance Plan Premiums

November 6, 2005

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Friday signed legislation designed to help nearly 1,900 children who were at risk of losing their state-sponsored health insurance.

The measure, approved by the legislature, will repeal two increases in premiums for the state’s HUSKY-B program for low-income families. Officials were worried that the children would have lost their coverage effective last Monday because their parents could not afford the new premiums.

“No one wants children to lose health coverage, and I commend the General Assembly for acting so swiftly and decisively to resolve this situation,” Rell said.

Eliminating the premium increases, which were included in this year’s state budget to reduce insurance expenses, will cost the state about $2.2 million this fiscal year and $4.8 million in fiscal year 2007.

Lawmakers said they can tap some extra money in a state Medicaid account. The state will ultimately be reimbursed for 65 percent of the cost under a federal program.

Under the fee increases, families that are paying no monthly premiums would have had to pay $30 a month for one child and $50 a month for two or more children. Families earning a slightly higher income who are now paying $30 a month for one child and $50 for two or more children would have seen their premiums increase to $50 and $75, respectively.

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