By Rosana Garcia
With 39 days until Open Enrollment, the Access Health CT (AHCT) September Board meeting was chock full of guest presentations and information.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces have been in the news a lot, lately. There are the national struggles of the ACA marketplaces. Connecticut has its own specific challenges: United Healthcare left the exchange, Healthy CT is going out of business, ConnectiCare’s exit and re-entry into the exchange, and we’re seeing an average of double-digit rate increases in individual plans.
- New call center vendor: AHCT has contracted with Faneuil for call center services, amid complaints about Maximus. Faneuil started taking some of the calls September 12th, and will take over all call center calls on Monday, September 26, 2016. AHCT detailed the intensive customer service training these new employees are receiving, in hopes of a better customer service experience.
- Both Anthem & ConnectiCare presented on their on-exchange members, including trends they are seeing. Anthem focused on what is driving up costs. They are seeing more use of the health plan in their on-exchange vs. off-exchange customers. They suggested that some flexibility from the standard benefit design would help reduce costs. ConnectiCare focused on three solutions to their cost problem: 1) Lessening the financial burden of seeing a primary care provider (with $5 co-pays to see primary care providers in their “Passage” plans); 2) Increasing health insurance literacy by opening 4 storefronts (flagship in Manchester, soon to follow in Newington, Bridgeport & Orange), and 3) Deterring emergency department usage by partnering with CliniSanitas, which will open 4 sites (same cities as the storefronts!) that are “one-stops” for health care services, and include bilingual services.
- Paul Lombardo from the CT Insurance Department presented on rate review. He went into great detail about why the rate requests (and eventual rates approved) for 2017 health plans were so expensive.
- Wakely presented their independent review of 2017 premium rates. Their presentation included a look at potential premium costs for certain customers.
- Now that Vicki Veltri is the Chief Health Policy Advisor to Lt. Governor Wyman (rather than the State’s Health Care Advocate), she is still on the Board, but no longer the Vice-Chair. Robert Tessier was voted as the new Vice-Chair of the AHCT Board. (Mr. Tessier is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition of Taft-Hartley Health Funds and also serves on the state’s Health Care Cabinet)