Lt. Gov. Wyman: Demand For Health Insurance Rose, 2018 Open Enrollment Stronger Than Previous Years
(HARTFORD, Conn.) – Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman and Access Health CT (AHCT) CEO Jim Wadleigh today provided the results of the Connecticut healthcare exchange’s fifth open enrollment period, which ran from November 1 to December 22, 2017. During this open enrollment cycle, 114,134 residents signed up for private health insurance coverage, reflecting a 2.3 percent increase compared to enrollment figures last year.
“These numbers demonstrate a consistently strong demand for the exchange and affordable healthcare,” said Lt. Governor Wyman. “They sharpen the focus on the importance of the Affordable Care Act and why the federal government should be working to improve it. I applaud Jim and his dedicated team, and thank our remarkable community partners for making this enrollment such a success. They had to overcome many challenges from Republicans in Washington, so this is truly a victory for all of us.”
“Because of the Affordable Care Act, thousands in Connecticut have gained health coverage that they previously did not have access to, and in return, greater access to the care and advice they need to live healthy, productive lives. These numbers show why it is so important to continue these efforts,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “Despite the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine access to care, our state has been a national leader in health and human services, especially the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and we want to continue to make gains that support public health care and economic security.”
“Our fifth open enrollment period was the most challenging we’ve had since the first year of the Affordable Care Act,” said Wadleigh. “We had a much shorter window for people to sign up – only seven weeks – and there were a lot of confusing messages coming out of Washington D.C. Despite all of that, we had very positive results, which shows that we are reaching new customers who see the value in the plans we offer. Our outreach and customer engagement strategies are working for residents.”
In 2018 AHCT had:
• An increase in membership in six out of eight counties,
• Close to 74 percent of enrollees receiving some type of financial help to pay for their coverage,
• Close to 24 percent of enrollees in the “young invincibles” group (aged 18-34) which was one of the organization’s main target groups,
• Close to 12 percent as brand new customers,
• 18 percent of enrollees were returning customers who had a policy previously but not in 2017, and
• 70 percent of existing customers returned in 2018.
For example, during the fifth open enrollment period:
• Over 6,400 people visited the 10 enrollment locations across the state and 4,558 of those enrolled in a plan,
• Over 220,000 people went to the AHCT website and 70 percent enrolled through the site,
• 267,000 people called the contact center, 30 percent enrolled,
• 35 percent enrolled with help from a broker, and
• Close to 17,000 people used the Plan Comparison Tool to help select a plan.
To activate their plan, enrollees must pay the bill they get from their insurance company. In addition, some customers may still need to provide necessary information to AHCT so their application is complete. Customers who fail to pay their premiums and drop off insurance roles are subject to federal penalties.
Under the Affordable Care Act, AHCT also partners with the state Department of Social Services (DSS) to enroll eligible residents in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (HUSKY Health). Enrollment is available year-round in HUSKY Health.
“There’s no question that the Affordable Care Act has been a tremendous step forward for millions across the U.S., and the positive results in Connecticut are clear,” said DSS Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby. “Thanks to the ACA, we were the first state to expand Medicaid for low-income adults without minor children, and we are pleased to support Lieutenant Governor Wyman and Access Health CT in recognizing Connecticut’s success in continuing impressive services and enrollment results.”
AHCT is available to answer questions at 855.805.4325.
Office of Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman