Concerns are swirling in Connecticut as President Donald Trump promises to make changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as Obamacare.
On Tuesday he tweeted “Since Congress can't get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people – FAST.”
Open enrollment on Access Health CT is Nov. 1, 2017. Despite the indecision in Washington, James Wadleigh Jr., the chief executive officer for Access Health CT said the company has been working diligently toward open enrollment. Wadleigh told the Connecticut Health Care Cabinet on Tuesday that all the plans for 2018 have been set and they hired a full-time outreach team to help with marketing and advertising.
Other cabinet members expressed concern about inaction in Congress.
Kate McEvoy, with the Department of Social Services, said Congress failed to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by the September 30 deadline. CHIP provides health insurance for 17,000 children in Connecticut. CHIP funds support HUSKY B as well as children served by Medicaid.
“We have funding that should take us around through mid-January, but if Congress does not reauthorize, we’d have to make some very difficult decisions about what we can continue to cover,” said McEvoy.
Leaders of community health centers in Connecticut are also worried about funding.
The Bureau of Primary Health Care typically disperses funding to health centers through a grant. Charter Oak Health Center’s grant ends on December 31 and the CEO has not yet been notified if the grant is renewed.
“With a reduction of at least $4 million, I think about the number of staff I might have to lay off, the number of sites I might have to close. And our ability to still provide access to care to so many people in our underserved community is really concerning,” said Nichelle Mullins, the president and CEO of Charter Oak Health Center in Hartford. Charter Oak provides care for approximately 18,000 patients per year.