Rabin, et al. v. Wilson-Coker

United States District Court, District of Connecticut

___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2003 U.S. Dist Lexis 5167 (D. Conn. 2003)

March 31, 2003

 

Advocates for a class consisting of the state’s” HUSKY A for Families” (Medicaid) coverage recipients won an important initial victory by securing a temporary restraining order prohibiting the state from terminating certain Medicaid benefits as of April 1, 2003. In Rabin v. Wilson-Coker, Judge Robert Chatigny of the US District Court, District of Connecticut, granted a motion precluding the state Department of Social Services (“DSS”) from cutting Medicaid benefits to approximately 30,000 HUSKY A parents whose income exceeds 100% of the federal poverty level, but are currently covered through the HUSKY A for families program.

The challenge is based on the state’s implementation of P.A. 03-2, in that the state failed to determine that the affected parent/legal guardian is not eligible for Medicaid under other coverage programs. The plaintiffs claim that the vast majority of the individuals affected by the change remain eligible for Medicaid pursuant to 42 U.S.C. sec. 1396r-6, and that the state failed to inform the class that continuing aid, in the form of ongoing Medicaid coverage, would be available for those who submitted an administrative fair hearing request before the termination date. The plaintiffs did not challenge the state’s right to limit eligibility for Medicaid benefits under the HUSKY A for Families program, but merely the implementation of the policy.

Utilizing the time honored two part TRO test, Judge Chatigny found that termination of Medicaid benefits constituted (1) a “substantial risk of irreparable harm,” and (2) that the notices were defective in that they failed to inform the affected individuals of their right to request a hearing with continuing aid, thus indicating a likelihood of success on the merits.

On line versions of the decision may be found on LEXIS at 2003 U.S. Dist LEXIS 5167 (D. Conn. 2003), or on Westlaw.

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