Connecticut Department of Social Services and Access Health CT Announce Plan For Medicaid Unwinding
Agencies share plan to address HUSKY Health eligibility, redeterminations and enrollment actions
The Department of Social Services (DSS) and Access Health CT (AHCT) today shared a comprehensive 12-month operational and outreach plan to redetermine eligibility for HUSKY Health enrollees and resume routine public program operations. HUSKY Health is Connecticut’s Medicaid program.
Prior to the pandemic, annual redeterminations of eligibility for the Medicaid program occurred on a monthly basis during the year and terminations were processed for individuals no longer eligible for the program. During the pandemic, the termination process was paused. The federal government passed legislation, known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, that now requires the monthly redeterminations to begin again as of March 31.
“Medicaid Unwinding” is a term the federal government is using to describe the process of reviewing households for Medicaid eligibility. Unwinding efforts will include steps to ensure an efficient transition back to standard operations with a focus on preventing gaps in health coverage.
To help reduce the volume of Connecticut residents impacted at once, the Medicaid Unwinding period will be spread over 12 months, beginning March 31, 2023, and ending in March 2024. Each month, DSS will send a notice in the mail to Medicaid clients who will be redetermined for eligibility. In most cases, Medicaid clients are expected to continue to be eligible for the program. Less than a quarter of the approximately 434,000 Connecticut residents being redetermined are expected to no longer be eligible, and DSS and AHCT have a plan.
Those that remain eligible for Medicaid will likely be automatically reenrolled in the program through a passive renewal process, which does not require any action from the client. Those that will need to take action will receive mail with instructions.
HUSKY A and D members that need to take action to be reenrolled in health coverage will visit AccessHealthCT.com to update an application or call at 1-855-805-4325. Customers who are deaf or hearing impaired may use TTY at 1-855-789-2428 or call with a relay operator. HUSKY C members will renew online with DSS or by calling 1-855-626-6632. Once the renewal is completed, clients will be notified of the outcome, including if they are eligible for HUSKY Health coverage or if they qualify for another program.
Connecticut residents that are no longer eligible for HUSKY Health may become eligible for other no- or low-cost health coverage available through AHCT. Other options include the Covered Connecticut Program, which provides no-cost coverage for eligible residents, or a Qualified Health Plan (QHP), that is often available at a lower cost to residents if they qualify for subsidies. Those that need to choose a new health coverage option will have 120 days to enroll after the loss of Medicaid coverage.
Access Health CT will be hosting free, in-person events to help Connecticut residents with the enrollment process. Those in need of help can also visit AccessHealthCT.com and chat with a customer service representative online or phone a call center for personal assistance in over 100 languages.
“Along with our partner Access Health CT and other key community stakeholders, we have been preparing for the public health emergency unwinding. Through extensive outreach and internal preparations, including adding more members to our benefits teams to meet the growing need that unwinding will generate, our priority is to make sure all communities throughout the state have access to the information and support they need to understand how the unwinding will affect them and their families,” said Andrea Barton-Reeves, Commissioner Designee for the CT Department of Social Services.
“We have been preparing for the Medicaid Unwinding for over a year and have collaborated with all departments to establish the most effective outreach and administrative plan to ensure that our most vulnerable populations are well-informed and avoid any coverage gaps,” said James Michel, Chief Executive Officer of Access Health CT.
DSS and AHCT have also developed a Medicaid Unwinding operational plan to address outstanding eligibility and enrollment actions efficiently, enable a sustainable distribution of renewals and ensure timely processing of new applications and eligibility actions. The DSS and AHCT call center has increased the number of their customer service representatives available throughout the year to support the elevated renewal application activity for HUSKY A and D renewals.
DSS and AHCT encourage Medicaid clients to check for updates online at HUSKY Health and also routinely check for mail from DSS and AHCT. Members can also update their contact information by visiting DSS online and AHCT online or by calling the AHCT call center. Updated contact information is particularly important to ensure Medicaid clients receive their mail notices, especially if their addresses have changed at any time in the last three years.