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6,600 Connecticut residents were cut off from Medicaid during COVID, federal court papers say

Herry Lawford

Disability Rights Connecticut is filing a federal lawsuit on behalf of three residents who claim they were wrongfully terminated from Medicaid during the pandemic.

Congress authorized expanding federal support for Medicaid in March 2020. That was changed by the Trump administration in December 2020. The Biden administration has made no moves to reinstate it, said Sheldon Toubman, an attorney representing Disability Rights Connecticut.

The civil rights group sent a letter signed by 163 organizations to President Biden to advocate for the program over a year ago.

“April 6, 2021,” Toubman said: "A 10-page letter laying out in detail the harm from this and how some states have already, you know, acted to implement these cuts. And the severe harm a variety of people, all kinds of people, are suffering from this. And as far as I know, nobody got a response to that.”

Toubman said his clients are at risk of being institutionalized because Medicaid is no longer paying for their at-home care.

“The services she's getting are 39 hours a week,” Toubman said. “And without those services, which are slated to be terminated effectively on August 31, given the severe risk she's at, institutionalization is extremely likely.”

About 6,600 Connecticut residents were cut off from Medicaid benefits.

Toubman said the people who lost benefits should receive back pay for the medical costs they had to cover and should be put back on Medicaid.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.