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Connecticut fastest in New England, top 4 nationally, in processing Medicaid applications

New dats show CT Medicaid (Husky) processing times among lowest in the U.S.
Irfan Khan Alvi
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New data show CT Medicaid (Husky) processing times among the lowest in the U.S.

HUSKY Health – the state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program agency – was ranked best in New England and fourth in the country in how fast it processes applications and eligibility.

For the first quarter of 2022, data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services show that 98% of applications in Connecticut were processed within 24 hours in January and 97% in February and March. Just three other states – Maryland, New York and Oklahoma – had faster processing times, with Oklahoma processing all applications within one day.

“The Affordable Care Act brought tremendous improvements to health care coverage and access on many levels in Connecticut,” Deidre S. Gifford, commissioner of the Department of Social Services, said in a statement.

“For example, federal support allowed first-time Medicaid coverage for lower-income, working adults without dependent children. It also brought a new shared consumer portal and eligibility system with Access Health CT and its high-quality coverage plans for higher-income residents,” Gifford said. “This streamlined approach takes the guesswork out of an otherwise complicated decision about where to go if you’re uninsured.”

Alycia Santilli, director at CARE, a public health nonprofit in New Haven, said better processing speed could lead to better health outcomes in Black and brown communities struggling to access care.

“Having improvements to the Medicaid application process [will] help us move toward a healthier Connecticut if people have better access to the system,” Santilli said.

But others, like Janet Stolfi Alfano, executive director of the Connecticut Diaper Bank, are calling for expanding coverage for essentials like diapers.

“Those other items that are essential for your activities of daily living,” Stolfi Alfano said.

In the first quarter of 2022 across New England, an average of 8% of applications were processed within a day in Maine; 20% in New Hampshire; 64% in Rhode Island; and 82% in Massachusetts.

Sujata Srinivasan is a Senior Producer for 'Where We Live,' the flagship news-based, call-in talk show from Connecticut Public Radio, featuring deep dives at the intersection of data-driven narrative and investigative long-form journalism. She's also an editor for the Connecticut Public newsroom.