Health care providers call on CT to expand HUSKY Medicaid coverage to undocumented teens
Healthcare providers and advocates are calling on state lawmakers and Gov. Ned Lamont to expand Medicaid for undocumented children in Connecticut.
They gathered at the state Capitol in Hartford on Wednesday to deliver a letter signed by hundreds of health professionals who support the expansion effort.
The letter from health professionals call on lawmakers to expand HUSKY eligibility to people up to age 26, regardless of their immigration status.
Currently, undocumented children up to the age of 12 are covered.
A bill to expand coverage has received support from legislative committees. One proposal would expand eligibility to those who are 18 and younger. Another version would only expand eligibility to 15 years old, which state officials say could cost the state $3 million. Advocates say an expansion up to 15 isn't enough.
Jay Sicklick is deputy director for the nonprofit Center for Children's Advocacy. He says there’s a financial benefit to having preventative coverage for children, especially those with mental health challenges.
"It doesn't make sense to stop at 15 when you have the most vulnerable population of young adults who have gone through the pandemic, who dealt with trauma either here or in their country of origin," Sicklick said.
Dr. Julia M. Rosenberg is a pediatrician at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
"I'm here alongside other medical providers and colleagues who provide medical care to talk specifically about our experience," Rosenberg said. "We would like to be able to care for everybody in our state and not have these barriers that currently exist."