What to know about open health insurance enrollment in CT

Open enrollments for Connecticut’s Affordable Care Act 2023 health plans begin Tuesday.

Insurers sparked controversy over the summer when they proposed substantial rate hikes – an average of 20% – on health plans for the next year. The insurance department has approved fewer, 13% on average (some plans will see more or less). But a range of subsidies are being offered to families and individuals to lower costs.

Currently, 84% of the 101,285 people enrolled through the exchange, known as Access Health CT, receive financial assistance for their coverage, officials said. Grants offered under the American Rescue Plan Act that were supposed to expire this year have been extended for another three years.

“Even though the rates have increased, these subsidies really help compensate for that for the vast majority of our customers,” said Caroline Lee Ruwet, marketing director of Access Health CT. “For those who don’t experience that financial help, the [remaining] For 16% of customers, the message is to buy and compare plans because we have so many different options. It’s the best way to help control costs while still meeting their needs. “

Access Health offers in-person assistance, as well as telephone and online support for those interested in subscribing or renewing their health insurance. This fall marks the state’s 10th open enrollment period for plans on the exchange.

Here’s what to know about open registrations.

How long is the registration period?

Open registrations start on Tuesday and last until January 15th at midnight.

When does coverage start?

Anyone who signs up between Tuesday and December 15 will have coverage starting January 1. Those who sign up between December 16 and January 15 will have coverage starting on February 1.

The plans will run until December 31, 2023.

Which insurance companies sell policies on the stock exchange?

Two companies offer individual health plans through the exchange: Anthem Health Plans and ConnectiCare. ConnectiCare sells policies under two different licenses: ConnectiCare Benefits Inc. and ConnectiCare Insurance Company Inc.

Anthem and ConnectiCare Benefits also offer small group plans through swapping with employers with 50 or fewer workers.

Has the state approved the rate hike this year?

Yes. The average approved increase for 2023 individual health plans is 13%. For small group policies, the insurance department has approved an average increase of 8%.

Rate changes depend on the plan. The changes range from a 6% decrease on some policies to a 25% increase on others.

Insurers had demanded an average increase of 20% on individual plans and 15% on small-group policies, citing the increased cost of medical care and pharmaceuticals, as well as delayed treatment due to the pandemic. In a public hearing in August, consumers, lawmakers and lawyers urged the insurance department to reject high claims.

What grants are available?

Financial assistance offered under the American Rescue Plan Act, which was due to expire at the end of 2022, has been extended for another three years.

Many residents who previously did not qualify for premium tax credits are eligible, while those who did qualify may see greater benefits. Premium tax credits reduce the monthly payment a consumer has to make to an insurance company for coverage.

Prior to the adoption of the bailout, only people whose family income was 400% or less of the federal poverty level (FPL) were eligible for benefits. After its passage, Connecticut residents above that threshold also qualify. For those above 400% of the FPL (income of $ 54,360 for one person or $ 111,000 for a family of four), annual contributions are capped at 8.5%.

Average savings per household with benefits was $ 132 per month, or $ 1,584 per year, in 2022, Ruwet said.

The state has also established the Covered Connecticut program, which extends free health insurance through exchange to individuals and families with qualified incomes.

Families earning up to and including 175% of the federal poverty level who do not qualify for Medicaid are eligible. A family of one person at 175% of the FPL will earn $ 23,782.50 per year, while a family of four will earn $ 48,562.50 per year during the plan year 2023.

Families must also have at least one dependent child under the age of 19 to qualify. An 18 year old must be a full time student. Eligible families will be enrolled in a silver exchange plan.

In 2022, officials added dental benefits and non-emergency medical transport to the program.

How do I sign up?

Consumers can sign up for health plans online at AccessHealthCT.com or by calling 855-805-4325. They can also register at one of the exchange’s in-person locations.

If I’m already signed up, do I automatically sign up for a 2023 plan?

Most of the current customers, around 80%, will be automatically re-registered. Some have given up on automatic renewal and others, around 5,500 people, will have to take manual action because their plan will be discontinued in 2023. Those who are unsure of the status of their plan should contact Access Health CT.

Current members can also change their plans during the membership period.

Where can I find help with signing up?

The call center is open from Monday to Friday, from 8:00 to 19:00, and select Saturdays from 9:00 to 15:00. The Saturdays in which the center will be operational are November 19th, December 3rd, December 10th, December 18th, January 19th. 7 and 14 January.

The call center is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Veteran’s Day, the day after Thanksgiving, the day after Christmas, and the day after New Year’s. It will be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and New Year, but will offer extended hours on January 15 (the last day of registration), from 9:00 am to midnight.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can call 855-789-2428.

A list of in-person enrollment locations can be found here. In addition to these sites, Access Health will have in-person help available at the Raymond Library on Main Street in East Hartford (Monday through Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm) and the Ferguson Library in Public Library Plaza in Stamford (from Monday to Friday, 10:30 am to 5:30 pm).

Consumers can also chat live with a representative on the Access Health CT website.

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