Access Health CT & CT Insurance Department in “Wait and See” Mode

By Rosana Garcia

ahct-twitter-cubeAmid much uncertainty, the Access Health CT (AHCT) Board of Directors met yesterday morning.

By the end of the meeting, not much was any clearer.

Jim Wadleigh, the CEO of AHCT, opened with the statement that was later released to the press.  He mentioned 2 major threats to the state’s exchange – which have been persistent throughout the year:

1) The many (so far unsuccessful) attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and

2) The potential for both exchange insurers (Anthem and ConnectiCare) to leave Access Health CT without any insurers.

A third threat was the dominating topic of discussion: whether or not the federal government will pay cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers.  CSR’s help to lower costs for very low-income people on the exchange.

If the CSR’s aren’t going to be paid in 2018:

  • It could cause one or both insurers to leave the exchange
  • Insurers would need to resubmit rate requests taking into account CSR’s which would likely lead to even higher premiums.

WadleighAug2While some solutions were discussed, the Board did not land on any solid plans for dealing with these challenges, as federal level uncertainty is trickling down to the state.  At the June AHCT Board meeting, there was some discussion of what might happen in the event of two, one and no insurers on the exchange: see page 19 of the June presentation.

There are some critical dates coming up that will hopefully lead to a clearer path forward in 2018:

  • September 1, 2017 is the anticipated date for the Connecticut Insurance Department to release their 2018 rate review decisions
  • September 6, 2017 is the current deadline for insurers to let AHCT know if they will be participating for the 2018 year.

Regardless of the path ahead, consumers of the on-exchange individual market of the state deserve a more public discussion about how state officials will protect them.

Deeper Dive

AHCT CEO Jim Wadleigh answers questions after the meeting (from CT-N)

Uncertainty mounts as Connecticut exchange waits for answers from DC (August 2, CT NewsJunkie)

Meeting Materials: Agenda | Presentation

Meeting Recording: Watch on CT-N

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