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Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Medicaid Reimbursement Rates in Connecticut

The Politics of Autism includes an extensive discussion of insurance and Medicaid services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Ginny Monk at Connecticut Mirror:
Kids across Connecticut, like Jaylen, are in a holding pattern. They’re wait-listed for autism services such as therapy and medication management, and while they wait, behavioral issues that need quick and consistent intervention are solidifying, parents and providers said.

If they don’t get the help they need, they are often at heightened risk of needing to be institutionalized or hospitalized because of their mental health issues.

Federal law requires that kids with autism diagnoses receive “timely and adequate medically necessary services,” a Dec. 15 letter from disability and child advocates to state officials said.

Reimbursement rates for Medicaid in Connecticut, where the program is known as HUSKY,[Health Care for Uninsured Kids and Youth] are too low for autism behavioral services, providers and advocates say. They’re the lowest in New England.

It means providers are losing money when they offer services to kids with HUSKY insurance. Many have either added more patients with private insurance to their workload or aren’t accepting the public option, providers and advocates said.

“Kids with autism and other developmental and intellectual disabilities are really underserved,” said Sarah Eagan, Connecticut’s child advocate. “No one has ever pushed back on that — everyone acknowledges that.”

Despite that widespread acknowledgement, kids aren’t getting the help they need, she said.

Kids who have HUSKY insurance are typically in families with lower incomes and are disproportionately likely to be Black or Hispanic.