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, childcare, and groceries. CHAI starts with the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Connecticut and adds in additional details that influence healthcare costs such as type of insurance coverage, age, and health risk. The index calculates healthcare costs and affordability for 19 different household types across Connecticut.
The State of Connecticut Office of Health Strategy (OHS) and the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) collaborated on this project to create a tool that will help policymakers involved in seeking, providing or paying for healthcare understand the real costs of healthcare and the challenges that Connecticut residents face in meeting their basic expenses.
OHS and OSC worked with researchers from the Center for Women’s Welfare at the University of Washington School of Social Work and from the University of Connecticut Analytics and Information Management Solutions (UCONN AIMS) to develop this tool. The project was partially funded and guided by the Connecticut Health Foundation and the Universal Healthcare Foundation of Connecticut. OHS and OSC also convened a public advisory committee to provide input as the tool was developed.
The CHAI is a living tool and as conditions change, OHS and OSC will use the tool to measure impacts on the marketplace or to model policy ideas and alternatives.