Open enrollment begins November 1st, five things to know

By Rosana G. Ferraro

OpenEnrollment2017

Access Health CT held their last Board meeting before Open Enrollment last Thursday, October 19.  A lot was discussed, and there are a lot of confusing messages in the news, but here is key information for those who rely on the exchange – Access Health CT – for coverage.  (See the end of post for more on the Board meeting)

  1. Open Enrollment is November 1, 2017 to December 22, 2017

Yes, Open Enrollment is shorter this year, so it is important that people begin early to make sure they can complete enrollment in time to be covered for 2018.  This is especially important because it will leave you time to…

  1. Shop around for the best plan for you and your family.

For a lot of reasons, shopping is very important this year.  Due to changes at the federal level, you may be surprised as to which plan is most affordable and best for you and your family.

If you are one of the roughly 25,000 people who pay full price for their health insurance on the exchange (meaning, you don’t get any financial help), you will want to explore not only the plans available on the exchange, but you may want to shop for plans that are not on the exchange, via a broker (you can search here for a broker near you).

Why would you do this?  In some instances, there may be less expensive options off the exchange.  Be aware though, that off-exchange plans are not the same as on-exchange plans.

  • Off-exchange plans do not offer the same benefits as Access Health CT plans, so ask plenty of questions to make sure whatever you choose, it is best for you and your family.
  • If you think you will have a change (especially a drop) in income this year, Access Health CT plans give you the ability to access financial help during the year if you become eligible.

Every situation is unique when getting coverage, so it is important you look into what is available to you in you and your family’s current circumstances.  You may read about plans costing this much or that much – but these are only estimates.  The only way to know what options are available to you is to shop around.

You may want to get help this year and…

  1. There is free help available.

There are several types of help available.

For assistance via phone: The Access Health CT Call Center is open Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm.  Call them at 1-855-909-2428.

For in-person assistance: Check out Enrollment Locations & Enrollment Fairs page of Access Health CT.

Enrollment locations: There are now 10 enrollment locations in Bridgeport, Danbury, East Hartford, Hartford, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, Norwich, Stamford and Waterbury.

Enrollment fairs: There are already five enrollment fairs scheduled (see this link for more details and here to register):

  • On November 4, 10am to 2pm, at Fairfield University in Fairfield
  • On November 18, 10am to 2pm, at Manchester Memorial Hospital in Manchester
  • On December 2, 10am to 2pm, at the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) in New London
  • On December 9, 10am to 2pm, at the Miller Senior Center in Hamden
  • On December 16, 10am to 2pm, at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic

Find help near you: You can search here for an Enrollment Specialist (Certified Application Counselor) OR a Certified Broker that is near you.

OE5EnrollmentFairs

  1. If you have a plan via Access Health CT for this year, you may be auto-renewed.

What is auto-renewal?  This is when Access Health CT automatically enrolls you in a plan that is similar to what you have for this year.  You do not have to stay in the plan selected for you.  You can go into your Access Health CT and make a change.  Especially this year, you may want to see what other options are available to you.

If you will be automatically renewed for coverage, you will receive mail from Access Health CT.

One last thing…

  1. Keep an eye on your mailbox, email, and text messages.

Important information will likely be mailed to you, and you may also receive email or text messages, if you are an existing Access Health CT customer.  There may be specific information about your options in these messages.

If you’re interested, here’s a little more on the Access Health CT Board Meeting

You can watch the whole meeting here on CT-N

The meeting presentation contains a lot of information – and there is an appendix with even more information.

 

This entry was posted in Rosana Ferraro, Rosana Garcia and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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