Access Health CT Holds Last Meeting Before Open Enrollment

By Max Friedman 

1d0cb851c6aeec1f7ea57b5a7487207c_400x400The state’s uninsurance rate is down to 3.8 percent heading into the 2016 Open Enrollment period next month, according to a study commissioned by Access Health CT.

State and Exchange officials heralded the results at this month’s Board of Director’s meeting, noting that prior to the launch of the exchange in 2014, the state’s uninsured rate was around 8 percent. The study used data from the Kaiser Family Foundation as a baseline and relied on coverage filings from carriers, including government programs, to determine who is covered.

Most residents (55.6 percent) are covered by employer-based insurance, while around 20 percent are on Medicaid, and only 4.6 percent in individual plans, both on and off the state exchange. You can read the report here.

The exchange ended the last enrollment period with around 110,000 members in private plans, which has dropped to 95,601 since then, as people drop coverage for a variety of reasons. Some reasons include affordability, moving out of state or acquiring employer based coverage. AHCT hopes to have between 105,000 to 115,000 in private coverage on the exchange after the next period, including new and existing members.

Some other highlights of the meeting:

  • Kevin Galvin of Small Business for a Healthy Connecticut provided a public comment about the state’s SHOP program for small businesses. He discussed the lack of involvement and knowledge of small businesses in this program and urged the exchange to rethink how they reach out to businesses.
  • Open Enrollment is starting in November, and Access Health CT is reopening their storefront locations in New Britain and New Haven, along with their call center. Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman expressed concern that working people who need to enroll may have difficulty in getting to these enrollment centers, and her desire for the exchange to be flexible with their hours.
  • The exchange continues to struggle to help those HUSKY A Medicaid recipients who were forced off of the program into private care. 175 people successfully signed up for coverage on the exchange, and around 600 were found to qualify for Medicaid in another way.
  • In 2016, everyone will have to file a 1095 form with the IRS to prove health insurance coverage. Last year, only people receiving subsidies to pay for coverage had to file those to reconcile the subsidies. Many HUSKY recipients will have to file tax returns for the first time, which may put a strain on the call center in the middle of the open enrollment period.
  • Winter is coming, and so is some Access Health CT marketing. The exchange’s marketing team discussed their advertising plans, including sponsoring the storm closing crawls during winter storms. They are also reaching out to radio DJs to engage them to promote enrollment.

You can see the presentation here. We’ll keep an eye on Access Health CT as open enrollment begins.

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