2020 Pacesetter Prize Winner

Affordability and Access

Why a Pacesetter Prize for Connecticut?

Connecticut is a national leader – and this year’s Pacesetter Award winner – in LTSS Affordability and Access due to its rich program offerings featuring extensive benefit options for people with, and without, Medicaid. The state uses a data-driven approach to communicate with the public about LTSS programs. Connecticut ranked No. 4 in Affordability and Access in 2014 and moved to No. 2 in 2017, where it remains today. Its overall State Scorecard ranking rose from No. 10 to No. 6 between 2017 and 2020.

Success Highlights

  • Connecticut adopted a plan to transition people who need LTSS from institutional to home- and community-based settings. The state collects robust data to monitor access, including trends in personal preferences, population demographics, rationale for why certain programs work, and cost comparisons between institutional care and home- and community-based settings.
  • The state has made significant in-roads expanding access to LTSS for people across insurance types, as well as among those at risk of needing LTSS who do not yet require institutional nursing care; this helps prevent or slow people’s potential declines. For example, Community First Choice added several home- and community-based services (HCBS) options to Connecticut’s Medicaid program, making LTSS more accessible to people with Medicaid. The state’s Home Care Program gives those who are not eligible for Medicaid access to nursing facility-level support at home.
  • Connecticut is increasing awareness about access to LTSS through dedicated communications campaigns, including a comprehensive website and telephone hotline.
  • The state assesses an individual’s eligibility for almost all LTSS programs in one sitting, making it quicker and easier for people to know which applications they should complete.

What’s next for Connecticut?

Connecticut is committed to increasing access to LTSS by developing new resources for its telephone hotline, and publishing meaningful personal stories from people who use HCBS to demonstrate the benefits and dispel common myths. Also, the state is exploring how to address the numerous challenges of institutional LTSS during the time of COVID-19 and the resulting increased demand for HCBS.