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Access Health CT Prepares for Open Enrollment

The Connecticut Mirror

Access Health CT, the state’s health care exchange, said its hoping to grow enrollment next year, despite challenges over rates, competition, and access. 

Open enrollment in health care plans for 2017 begins on Tuesday, November 1. If people want their plans to start on January 1, they must be enrolled by December 15.

Customers on the exchange have just two carriers to choose from next year, down from four this year. They also cannot use a broker to help.

Both ConnectiCare and Anthem, the remaining insurers, have eliminated commissions for brokers, whose role was to navigate customers through the system to the right plan.

Access Health CT CEO Jim Wadleigh told a conference call Thursday that his staff are working to resolve the problem.

“The brokers have been a great ally for Access Health," he said. "We would prefer that the carriers pay those commissions. We will be working through the next couple months with the carriers to get that commission payments back for 2018.”

Right now, 100,000 people are enrolled in plans through the exchange. Wadleigh said he is aiming to enroll as many as 125,000 for 2017, despite a hike in rates; on average, plans on the exchange will be 24.8 percent more expensive.

“While rates have gone up significantly, 75 percent of our customers receive federal payment help, so they will not see the full increase of that,” said Wadleigh. He also noted that health insurance rates have gone up across the board, not solely on the exchanges.

Open enrollment will continue through the end of January next year.

Copyright 2016 Connecticut Public

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.