New & Noteworthy
Trusted messengers will inform communities about health care coverage changes
Grants from four funders support 33 community organizations
Thirty-three Connecticut organizations will serve as trusted messengers to share important information about health care coverage with their communities, with $495,000 in grant funding from four Connecticut foundations and funding organizations.
The messaging activities are related to two major changes in health care coverage taking place this year.
HUSKY redeterminations: Typically, people covered by HUSKY – Connecticut’s Medicaid program – need to verify their eligibility every year or lose coverage. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government prohibited states from cutting off coverage. However, states are now resuming eligibility verification, a process known as redetermination and sometimes referred to as the Medicaid “unwinding.” Thousands of Connecticut residents will need to have their eligibility redetermined over the next 12 months, and there is a risk that many will lose coverage even if they still qualify if they do not receive information about verifying their eligibility or do not submit the required information. Others who no longer qualify will need to find other forms of coverage. Trusted messengers can help to assure that people are aware of the redetermination process and complete it when needed, and can help connect people who need other forms of coverage to assistance.
New HUSKY coverage for children: Starting Jan. 1, HUSKY became available to children under age 13, regardless of immigration status. Trusted messengers can play a key role in making sure families know about this change and in addressing any questions or concerns they might have about signing their children up for coverage.
“Having health insurance coverage is key to good health, allowing people to access the care they need. Given the potential for disruption, we thought it was imperative to assure that people receive information from messengers they trust,” said Tiffany Donelson, president and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation. “As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, every community has trusted messengers – the people others turn to when they have questions or need advice, and they are critical in making sure people have the information they need. We’re thrilled to be able to support so many powerful trusted messengers in reaching their communities.”
The grant initiative was led by the Connecticut Health Foundation and includes funding from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and The Connecticut Project.
“Trusted community-based partners play a vital role in connecting with residents who otherwise are often difficult to reach,” said Hartford Foundation President and CEO Jay Williams. “This type of outreach directly aligns with the Foundation’s priorities to advance equity in social and economic mobility and contribute to dismantling structural racism in our region. We know that many people are reluctant to share personal information out of concern it may make them vulnerable. Receiving guidance from trusted organizations will increase the likelihood that residents will apply for and maintain access to preventative and life-saving health benefits.”
“Health care coverage is key to promoting healthy lives and greater financial security for all of our Connecticut neighbors,” said Mirellise Vazquez, vice president of philanthropy & strategy at The Connecticut Project. “The Connecticut Project is thrilled to partner with the Connecticut Health Foundation in funding nonprofit organizations who will share vital and time-sensitive health care coverage information with communities across our state as part of the already important work they carry out each and every day. These diverse and locally based trusted messengers are uniquely positioned to lead this outreach and are vital partners in making Connecticut a healthier and more equitable state.”
“This important initiative is crucial in ensuring that our most vulnerable residents – including pregnant women, low-income children, and their families – can access needed health care services, which we view as a fundamental human right,” said Mary Grace Pagaduan, director of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls. “In getting the word out about available healthcare services to these populations and supporting enrollment in health insurance programs for these Connecticut residents, we are moving the state to become a more equitable and inclusive place to live.”
The trusted messenger organizations will receive $15,000 each. They are:
- Advocacy to Legacy, Windsor
- Building One Community, Stamford
- Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, New London
- City of Stamford, Stamford
- Community Action Agency of New Haven, New Haven
- The Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers, North Haven
- Connecticut Worker Center, Bridgeport
- Cross Street Training & Academic Center (Ministerial Health Fellowship), Middletown
- CT Students for a Dream, Bridgeport
- Family Centers, Greenwich
- Grace Baptist Church, Waterbury
- Greater Bridgeport Area Prevention Program, Bridgeport
- Greater Waterbury Health Partnership, Waterbury
- Hartford Deportation Defense, Hartford
- Hartford Health Initiative, Hartford
- Hartford Knights, Hartford
- Hispanic Alliance of Southeastern Connecticut, New London
- Hispanic Health Council, Hartford
- Human Resources Agency of New Britain, New Britain\
- Hockanum Valley Community Council, Vernon
- Husky 4 Immigrants, Bridgeport
- IRIS – Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, New Haven
- Latino for Educational Advocacy and Diversity, Danbury
- The Legacy Foundation of Hartford, Hartford
- Madonna Place, Norwich
- Madre Latina Organization, Waterbury
- Make the Road CT, Hartford
- The New American Dream Foundation, Danbury
- Nonprofit Accountability Group, Hartford
- Phillips Metropolitan Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Hartford
- Project Access of New Haven, New Haven
- PT Partners, Bridgeport
- Urban Alliance, East Hartford
For more information, please contact Arielle Levin Becker at 860-724-1580 x 116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.