B. NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM CT VOICES
* State of Working Connecticut 2005
* Preserving the Federal Estate Tax: Why it Matters for Connecticut
* A Summary of the Final FY 06 Early Care Budget
* Uninsured Children in Connecticut: 2004
* Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: Smoking During Pregnancy, 2002
* Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: Birth Outcomes, 2002
C. HUSKY ELIGIBILITY TRAININGS AND MATERIALS
* HUSKY Eligibility Manual updated
* HUSKY outreach fliers in new languages
* HUSKY Eligibility Forums
A. HOLD THE DATE!
Please join us in celebrating CT Voices' 10th birthday on Tuesday, December
13, 2005 at the Hartford Club from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. In addition to
awarding our annual First for Kids Awards, we'll be sharing a big birthday
cake. We'll keep you posted as the day nears on the details - but please
HOLD the date!
B. NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM CT VOICES
1. State of Working Connecticut 2005
This 5th annual report finds that Connecticut's employment picture has been
improving slowly over the last year, though the state has only recovered
approximately half (52%) of the jobs lost during the recession. In July
2004, there were 32,300 more jobs than at the end of the recession
(September 2003), but 29,100 fewer jobs than at Connecticut's employment
peak in July 2000. The state has been losing higher-wage manufacturing and
professional jobs and gaining lower-wage service sector jobs. Indeed, the
industry sectors in which Connecticut lost the most jobs between 2003 and
2004 pay more on average than the industry sectors in which Connecticut had
the greatest job gains during this period.
In addition, Connecticut's low-wage workers have lost economic ground, and
the gap between high-wage and other workers is growing. Real
(inflation-adjusted) wages for Connecticut's highest wage workers (at the
90th percentile) increased 20% between 1990 and 2004, while the lowest-wage
workers (at the 10% percentile) actually declined by 2%.
The growth of low-paying jobs in the state threatens the well-being of
Connecticut children and the economic future of the state. Now, one in four
Connecticut children (25%) live in families that do not have enough income
to meet their family's essential needs.
2. Preserving the Federal Estate Tax: Why it Matters for Connecticut
This issue brief discusses the damaging impact of the potential elimination
of the federal estate tax on both the Connecticut and the federal budgets.
Permanent repeal of the estate tax would result in a substantial loss of
much needed federal revenues, a likely increase in the federal deficit, and
reduced charitable giving. Connecticut's state budget is also at grave
risk, given that federal funds currently constitute about one in every six
dollars of revenues in the state's budget. As federal revenues decline,
cuts in federal funding to states are likely to follow. In addition,
repealing the tax would eliminate a highly progressive tax that affects only
the wealthiest 2% of people who die each year.
3. A Summary of the Final FY 06 Early Care Budget
This summary highlights major new investments and reductions in
Connecticut's early care and education funding, as well as policy changes
made by the General Assembly in 2005 that pertain to early care and
education programs and services for Connecticut's youngest children.
Despite some increases in this year's budget, total funding for early care
initiatives in Fiscal Year 2006 (which began July 1, 2005) in the budgets of
the Department of Social Services and State Department of Education remains
11% less than FY 2002 funding (not even adjusting for inflation). The FY
2006 budget for Care 4 Kids (the child care subsidy program) is $53 million
less than actual spending in FY 2002, though it is about 1% more than last
4. Uninsured Children in Connecticut: 2004
This brief reviews recent Census findings that an estimated 71,000
Connecticut children (8.5%) under 18 were uninsured for the entire year in
2004. The uninsured rate was essentially unchanged from rates in recent
years. In 2002-04, an estimated 36,000 Connecticut children under 19 who
lived in families with income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level
were uninsured. Virtually all these children are income-eligible for
coverage in the HUSKY Program, but were not enrolled.
5. Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: Smoking During Pregnancy, 2002
In 2002, Medicaid programs in 36 states and the District of Columbia covered
at least some smoking cessation services for all Medicaid recipients.
Connecticut does not. In fact, Medicaid managed care contracts for the HUSKY
A program do not make it clear that when tobacco dependence treatment is
determined to be medically necessary, it is a covered service for children
and pregnant women. This report - based on linked Medicaid encounter data
and birth records -- finds that 17% of mothers in HUSKY A (Medicaid managed
care) smoked during pregnancy, compared with just 4 percent of other mothers
who gave birth in 2002. The impact on their infants is striking. The low
birthweight rate for mothers in HUSKY A who smoked was about 50 percent
higher than the rate for non-smoking HUSKY A mothers.
6. Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: Birth Outcomes, 2002
One in four births in Connecticut was to a mother enrolled in HUSKY A in
2002. This report finds that compared to other babies born in 2002, babies
born to mothers enrolled in HUSKY A were more likely to be low birthweight
(9.7% vs. 7.1%) and to be born preterm (10.9% vs. 9.3%). The brief
recommends strengthened collaborative efforts between HUSKY health plans and
community providers to improve care and enrollment for pregnant woman, and
for ensuring Medicaid coverage for smoking cessation services in HUSKY.
C. HUSKY ELIGIBILITY TRAININGS & MATERIALS
1. HUSKY Eligibility Manual updated
The HUSKY Eligibility Manual, a reference for advocates, providers, outreach
workers and community-based organizations who work with families and help
them enroll in HUSKY. The manual was developed by Covering Connecticut's
Kids and Families, an initiative coordinated by CT Voices for Children. It
has recently been updated to reflect recent program changes and new
informational fliers. It can be downloaded on the CT Voices Web site:
2. HUSKY outreach fliers in new languages
An informational flier that encourages working families to apply for HUSKY
for children, parents, and pregnant women, and outlines available services,
is now available in additional languages (beyond English and Spanish):
Brazilian Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Polish, and Vietnamese.
3. HUSKY Eligibility Forums
The Covering Connecticut's Kids and Families Coalition, in collaboration
with the Department of Social Services and local community agencies, is
sponsoring local trainings on HUSKY eligibility from late September through
November. These trainings are open to community organizations. The goal of
the forums is to build relationships between DSS eligibility staff and
community outreach workers and to improve common understanding of HUSKY
eligibility and other policy issues and procedures.
Topics will include:
* June 2005 HUSKY eligibility changes (parents, Temporary Medical
Assistance, verifications, etc)
* HUSKY eligibility for young adults, ages 18-21
* Pregnant women and newborn eligibility
* ACS and HUSKY Infoline resources
Connecticut Voices for Children
New Haven office: 33 Whitney Ave, New Haven CT 06510, (203) 498-4240
Hartford office: 60 Gillett St, Hartford CT 06105, (860) 548-1661
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