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May 31, 2022

Policy changes needed for CT residents to secure affordable health care, study shows

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The Office of Health Strategy and the Office of the State Comptroller, on Tuesday, announced the results of a study that found roughly 8,500 additional Connecticut households would be able to afford their basic needs, if policy changes are implemented that increase the affordability of health care.

The report analyzed the effects of recent healthcare legislation using the Connecticut Healthcare Affordability Index interactive tool, unveiled in June 2021, which measures the impact of various models on families’ ability to make ends meet.

The findings in the report measured impacts of the cost of basic needs, income inadequacy rates and affordable healthcare rates by using three policy models: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Premium Tax Credit, Covered Connecticut and the Cost Growth Benchmark.

The Connecticut Healthcare Affordability Index has a “laser-like focus on healthcare affordability by design, because so many people in Connecticut report challenges of affording their healthcare expenses,” said OHS Executive Director Victoria Veltri.

The ARPA Premium Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit to help eligible individuals and families pay for qualified health plans, is purchased through federal or state exchanges. The study found that by removing the premium tax credit income cap for individuals and families purchasing insurance through the individual insurance marketplaces, there was a 5.9 percentage point decrease of income inadequacy rates — a decrease of over 7,500 households estimated to have income insufficient to meet their basic needs. 

The Covered Connecticut Program, established on July 1, 2021, is an initiative to provide Connecticut residents with health insurance coverage at no cost.

The Covered CT model estimated over 17,000 additional households will be defined as having affordable healthcare costs as a result of the expanded eligibility of the Covered Connecticut program.

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