Governor Lamont is reportedly considering on a plan to have private insurance company managed care plans (MCOs) run Connecticut’s Medicaid program. From 1996 through 2011, Connecticut Medicaid, or HUSKY, was run by MCOs and it was deeply troubled. The program ended under pressure from advocates, providers, and legislators. Since the MCOs left Connecticut Medicaid in 2012, access and quality of care have improved, and the state has saved billions of taxpayer dollars.

Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) are private insurance plans hired by a state to run their Medicaid plan. They are paid under capitation, a per-member fixed fee to cover all necessary care. This creates an incentive to deny care, both high and low value care, and to cherry-pick more lucrative members. Medicaid MCOs are very profitable.

Forty-one states currently use capitated managed care to run their Medicaid programs. Currently, Connecticut does not.

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