2023 Legislative Session

Your advocacy has been an essential part of progress over the last few years! As we celebrate success in advancing health equity, we know our work is far from finished. Join us in building on those early steps to move Connecticut further along the path to health equity in 2023!

In the year ahead, we will focus on priorities identified by Connecticut’s people. Health Equity Solutions’ 2022 Community Conversations highlighted consistent themes: access to affordable, quality health care, meeting basic needs, and anti-racism stood out as top priorities!

Health Equity Solutions’ 2023 Policy Agenda

Advocate for health care access:

  1. Advocate for sustainable reimbursement of community health workers and doulas
  2. Promote efforts to address social and economic needs through Medicaid

Address barriers to health care costs:

  1. Ensure families with lower incomes, including all immigrants, can enroll in free health insurance
  2. Reduce the impact of medical debt by strengthening hospital financial assistance policies

Dismantle structural racism by centering equity in all policymaking:

  1. Monitor the implementation of race, ethnicity, and language data collection
  2. Ensure the state legislature and state regulators can leverage tools to assess the health equity implications of policy changes, including racial and ethnic impact statements
  3. Continue to work with the Commission on Racial Equity in Public Health to develop and implement a strategic plan for health equity in CT

To get involved, ask questions, or share your thoughts, please reach out. Sign up to receive action alerts here! And stay tuned…action alerts and more information about these priorities is coming soon.

HES continues to support additional policy issues vital to health equity, including those detailed in CT’s Path to Equity Guide to State Policy for Health Equity, through participation in coalitions and campaigns led by our partners.

Your Advocacy is making a difference - Thank You

Dear Friend,

The 2023 Legislative Session of the Connecticut General Assembly has come to an end! It was a whirlwind of a session and we at HES are excited by the progress towards advancing health equity, grateful for your work in making it happen, and ready to keep fighting for the work that was left undone.

In 2023, HES submitted 17 pieces of testimony on 20 bills aligned with our policy agenda and in support of our partners! Here’s a quick recap of what passed and what didn’t:

New Laws That Promote Health Equity:

  🎉 HUSKY health will reimburse community health workers through a program designed in collaboration with HUSKY members and CHWs 

  🎉 DPH will establish a doula certification process 

  🎉 Children under age 15 who live in families whose income qualifies will be able to enroll in HUSKY health programs regardless of their immigration status (the current limit is age 12) 

  🎉 Early voting rules were established 

Health Equity Legislation That Did Not Pass:

❌ Efforts to improve and streamline hospital financial assistance policies passed out of committee but was never called for a vote 

❌ Efforts to create access to HUSKY for immigrants up to age 26 was cut short at age 15 

❌ An increase in the eligibility limit for Covered CT was included in initial budget drafts, but later removed   

Other Highlights:

A plan to allow “junk plans” or Association Health Plans (which look like health insurance, but are not subject to the same standards) to be sold in CT was not brought up for a vote; this policy would have undermined the state health insurance marketplace, which disproportionately serves Black and Latino/a residents of our state 

Changes were made to the Commission on Racial Equity in Public Health 

The state budget allocated $6.5 million to purchase and eliminate medical debt 

Questions? Comments? Something we missed? Let us know!

Sending big thanks and congratulations to partners who led campaigns, co-hosted events, showed up to testify, shared their stories, and joined our advocacy efforts! Achieving health equity requires us all to keep working together persistently to dismantle racism and build new, more equitable systems. This session has been a reminder that step-by-step and hand-in-hand we are collectively moving Connecticut along the path to equity.

Thank you - including a photo of the CT State capitol and HES logo

Thank you,

The HES team