Connecticut health insurance exchange
Consumers happy with Access Health CT
By Carla Anderson
November 19, 2013
Access Health CT successfully launched Oct. 1, confirming its first enrollees at 9:30 a.m. and 10,000 website visitors before noon. Through Nov. 14, more than 13,000 people have gained coverage through the Connecticut marketplace. About 58 percent purchased private insurance, and the balance qualified for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (the programs are called HUSKY and HUSKY B, respectively, in Connecticut) according to a Nov. 15 press release. Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman reported that Connecticut is the only state that has seen more enrollment in private insurance than in Medicaid since the marketplaces opened.
In an October survey, consumers gave Access Health CT good marks:
- 82 percent of respondents are “extremely likely” or “very likely” to recommend Access Health CT to a friend
- 67 percent of respondents are “extremely comfortable” or “very comfortable” with website resources
- 86 percent found website support tools helpful in addressing questions about enrollment
Connecticut was one of the early adopters in implementing a health insurance exchange – or health insurance marketplace. Gov. Malloy signed legislation in 2011 to create the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange, which was rebranded as Access Health CT in February 2013. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved Connecticut’s blueprint for a state-run exchange in December 2012.
Access Health CT was established as quasi-governmental organization overseen by a board of directors. While the 2011 law required that none of the board members have an active financial connection with an insurance company or health care provider, there was criticism that the board was dominated with former insurance industry executives and lacked any consumer advocates. A bill passed in June 2012 modified the board, which now includes a health care advocate nominated by the governor. However, questions and challenges persist.
Access Health CT describes itself as an active purchaser, but announced that it will not negotiate rates with health plans — at least for 2014. Anthem, ConnectiCare, and HealthyCT (a new, nonprofit co-op plan) offer individual medical plans on the Connecticut exchange.
Connecticut residents will see higher than average premiums on the marketplace. According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the average cost for a bronze plan —the lowest-cost option — in Connecticut is $340 a month. The national average for a bronze policy is $249 a month.
According to HHS, more than 240,000 Connecticut residents are uninsured and eligible for coverage through the marketplace.
Connecticut health insurance exchange links
Access Health CT
State Exchange Profile: Connecticut
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Connecticut’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.
Connecticut Health Reform Central
Information about exchange planning and development