According to new survey results from the US Census Bureau, 343,000 Connecticut residents, one in ten of us, did not have health coverage in 2008, including 44,000 children.
These numbers are up by 17,000 from the year before. The 10 percent uninsured rate in 2008 is up slightly from 9.4 percent in 2007, which is not statistically significant.
“Today’s census numbers are just further proof that reform is needed, and that taking no action is not an acceptable answer for 343,000 uninsured in this state, and the tens of thousands of others who are one paycheck away from joining them,” Ellen Andrews, executive director of the Connecticut Health Policy Project, said.
Connecticut Voices for Children, a research-based policy group, attributed the relative stability in the uninsured rate in part to the success of the state’s Husky health insurance program for low-income families and children. The group also pointed out that increased unemployment in the state in 2009 means that the state’s uninsured rate will likely increase.
“As the U.S. Congress considers ways to make health insurance more accessible and affordable, these findings highlight the importance of supporting and expanding public health insurance programs that work, like Husky,” Sharon Langer, a senior policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children, said. “As fewer Connecticut residents have access to employer-sponsored coverage, Congress should support policies that help families maintain their health insurance when they lose or change their jobs.”
Also in 2008, the state provided funding for Husky outreach and as a result, enrollment of children, parents, and pregnant women in increased in 2008 by about 15,000.
But Connecticut Voices warns that next year progress in enrollment could suffer because the recently approved state budget cuts nearly all funding for Husky outreach, and eliminates Husky and Medicaid coverage for about 3,500 legal adult immigrants.