Open enrollment begins Tuesday for Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, known as Access Health CT. It runs through March 31. The following are some key facts about the new program:
• Individuals and small businesses interested in buying health insurance through the exchange can use the exchange website at www.accesshealthct.com. The site includes an online calculator that helps people determine whether they’re eligible for financial assistance or Medicaid. They can also apply for coverage by calling the health exchange at 855-805-4325.
• Navigators, community-based organizations assigned to six regions of the state, and about 300 assisters, trained and certified individuals from nonprofits, small businesses, faith-based and other community organizations, will be available during open enrollment to help educate and enroll residents for health care coverage. Trained brokers can also sign up individuals and small businesses.
• Access Health CT plans to open a storefront in New Britain by mid-October. Another is planned for New Haven, and more are expected to open. Those locations will be stocked with computers and staffed with trained experts to help people enroll. Mobile enrollment events are also being planned. Upcoming events will be listed on the Access Health CT website.
• Access Health CT officials have a target of enrolling about 100,000 people in health insurance plans, including the state’s expanded Medicaid program, during this first enrollment round.
• Connecticut’s exchange is offering three levels of plans from three companies for individuals and small business. Individual coverage is being offered by ConnectiCare Benefits, Anthem Health Plans Inc. and the new nonprofit HealthyCT. Small group plans are being offered by United Healthcare Insurance Co., Anthem Health Plans Inc. and HealthyCT.
• With the newly expanded eligibility, an individual with income up to $15,856 can qualify for Medicaid coverage, while a family of four with income up to $32,499 can qualify. Meanwhile, an individual with income from $15,857 to $45,960 can qualify for a federal insurance subsidy, while a family of four with income from $32,500 to $94,200 can qualify. Actual eligibility will depend on actual income and household size.
• For the least expensive individual plan, the monthly base rates for premiums approved by Connecticut’s Department of Insurance range from $215.17 to $245.45. For small businesses with fewer than 50 employers, the monthly base rates for premiums for the least expensive plans range from $271.91 to $298.05. Those rates, however, will differ based on individual circumstances and any eligibility for subsidies.
• Recently released census data estimate that 284,000 of the state’s nearly 3.6 million residents were uninsured as of 2012. Other estimates put the figure at 344,000 uninsured.