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Connecticut First to Expand Medicaid Under Health Care Law

By CQ Staff

June 21, 2010 -- Connecticut on Monday became the first state in the nation to expand Medicaid enrollment to low-income adults under the new health care law, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced.

Sebelius praised the state for its "speedy" move in permanently adding low-income adults to the federal-state health insurance program. "Today's action will bring substantial new federal support to the state and help improve the health of its citizens," she said in a statement.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved the state's plan amendment on Monday. It's estimated that 45,000 adults will become eligible for public health aid under the expansion.

Childless adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or $14,400 for an individual in 2010, can receive coverage under the law. Until now the only way states could cover such individuals was by applying for a waiver, which was temporary. Such coverage is required to begin in 2014, but states can also apply to start sooner.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., also praised the state's action. "I am so proud that after the long, uphill battle in getting the new health care reform law passed, Connecticut will be the first state to permanently expand coverage to some of our neediest residents," she said in a statement.

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