By Max Friedman
Access Health CT’s September meeting focused on how the exchange would transition a thousand recipients of HUSKY A to private health care and how it’s preparing for the open enrollment period for 2016, which starts on November 1.
Here are a few highlights:
- The exchange and the Department of Social Services are working to transition around 1,200 HUSKY A enrollees into private coverage to avoid a gap in coverage that began on September 1. Automated calls in English and Spanish were made instructing those affected to contact a call center, and personal calls were made to those who had provided valid contact information. Exchange officials said that they keep calling until told to stop calling by the recipient. Around 400 people have done so, and it is not clear if they have obtained coverage through work or some other way, or do not have the money to pay the health insurance premiums.
While some who call back are determined to still be eligible for Medicaid, only 140 of the 800 who lost coverage have been transitioned. These people have until October 1 to sign up for coverage, otherwise they must wait until the regular Open Enrollment period in November for coverage starting in January.
- Access Health CT’s CEO, Jim Wadleigh, discussed the recently released Census data reporting that the uninsurance rate in Connecticut was 6.9 percent in 2014, down from 9.4 percent in 2013, before major portions of the ACA took effect. Wadleigh said that the exchange was working on its own estimates and would be reporting on those soon.
Last year, the Exchange reported fewer uninsured than the Census, but expects a continuing downward trend.
- The Connecticut Insurance Department provided a presentation on the recent health insurance rate review and approval process. The Department examined the assumptions and factors that the insurance companies used to determine their rate requests, and held hearings for several companies. One point to note is that the Federal Reinsurance Program, in which carriers pay into or receive risk-adjustment funds based on the health of their covered customers, will end in 2017, which will lead to a monthly premium increase of $20-30.
At next month’s meeting, we can expect to hear of the Exchange’s plans on the All-Payer Claims Database, the status of the former HUSKY recipients, and final preparations for the 2016 open enrollment.