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Connecticut Healthcare Affordability Index

The Connecticut Healthcare Affordability Index (CHAI) measures the impact of healthcare costs, including premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, on a household’s ability to afford all basic needs, like housing, transportation, child care, and groceries. CHAI starts with the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Connecticut and adds in details that influence healthcare costs such as type of insurance coverage, age, health risk, and family composition. CHAI and the Connecticut Household Healthcare Spending Target were developed in partnership with the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy and the Connecticut Office of the State Comptroller with financial support from the Connecticut Health Foundation and the Universal Health Care Foundation.

CHAI is being used to model the potential impact of policy changes, such as adjustments to premium tax credits and the state Earned Income Tax Credit. This proactive approach ensures that policy decisions are evidence-based and directly address the needs of low-income individuals and families. The state is using the data to assess the impact that cost changes will have on health care affordability for Connecticut’s residence. For example, Comptroller Lembo used the CHAI analysis in his testimony to justify his opposition to requested health insurance rate increases.