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62,153 Sign Up For Coverage On Connecticut’s Exchange

by Christine Stuart | Dec 24, 2013 4:20pm
(10) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Health Care

Christine Stuart file photo

Access Health CT store in New Britain

Between Oct. 1 and midnight Monday, 62,153 Connecticut residents signed up for coverage through the state exchange, according to Access Health CT officials.

Monday was the deadline for residents to sign up if they wanted health coverage by Jan. 1, and it was the exchange’s busiest day. On average, about 1,400 residents were signing up daily over the past week, but on Monday 6,700 residents enrolled in plans, Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said Tuesday.

Of the 62,153 residents who enrolled, about 55 percent signed up for coverage with one of the three private insurance carriers and 45 percent qualified for Medicaid. On average, about 70 percent of those signing up for plans with private carriers have qualified for federal subsidies to offset the cost of their monthly premium.

Residents who missed the deadline Monday can still sign up for coverage through the exchange, but that coverage won’t take effect until Feb. 1. The cutoff for enrollment for coverage effective Feb. 1 is mid-January. The exchange will continue to be open for enrollment until March 31.

“Clearly there’s always a group of folks who are going to claim they thought they did everything right and something didn’t go through for whatever reason,” Counihan said.

It might have been a technical problem, or someone was assured they were enrolled when that was not the case. Counihan said he’s trying to anticipate consumer complaints before they happen, and he said he’s speaking with the executives from the three insurance carriers to see if they might consider a special enrollment period.

“We are not looking to penalize people,” Counihan said. “The whole point of this thing is to try and get more people insured.”

At the moment, Counihan said he doesn’t know how many people may have thought they signed up but never completed the process to the point where it would generate their enrollment. He expects the complaints to begin rolling in over the next few days.

Then there are individuals with plans that were canceled as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Those individuals have 60 days to claim a hardship exemption and enroll in a high-deductible, low-premium catastrophic plan even if they are over the age of 30. Prior to last week, those plans were only being offered to individuals under the age of 30.

Between now and Jan. 1, the roughly 34,300 who enrolled in a plan with a private insurance carrier through the exchange will receive confirmation they were enrolled along with a bill. Over the next week, insurance carriers will be busy downloading the enrollment information into their systems. Enrollees will have until Jan. 10 to pay that bill.

Counihan said the money has to be received by the insurance carriers before Jan. 10 and can’t be postmarked Jan. 10.

Residents who qualify for Medicaid can sign up for a plan at any point during the year, but will face a financial penalty if they go without insurance for more than three months.

Currently, Medicaid is only offered to individuals who fall below 55 percent of the federal poverty level, but that changes on Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid will be expanded to cover individuals under 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Roughly about 27,850 of the 62,153 enrollees qualified for Medicaid. There are currently more than 618,000 individuals in the state already receiving some form of Medicaid benefit. The federal government will cover the entire cost of Medicaid benefits until 2017.

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(10) Comments

posted by: jim black | December 26, 2013  10:00am

I would bet crime would plumment if the punishment was Obama care for life!!!

posted by: Walt | December 26, 2013  1:36pm

As Counihan is a paid spokesman for Obamacare as was Rep DeLauro   in her comments in the   Independent recently I’d like to toss in a few comments from   a different perspective

DeLauro in her article claimed Obamacare would have no effects   on old coots like me who rely on Medicare   for needed maintenance —-UNTRUE!!


First,  Obamacare took 3/4 of a TRILLION,not million, not billion $$$  from Medicare funds to   start the new program and obviously causes changes to   Medicare spending


Since Obamacare became likely   to pass,  each year,  my medicare coverage is either more costly and/‘or co=pays   are increased

Preventive health services like loosening-up   exercises for old folks are no longer provided.

Services like PSA tests,  which for me led to biopsies,  treatment and burning cancer out of my body are now   prohibited for folks over 70 (and for vets at the VA too) with the feds claiming those apparently low-cost tests are not completely definitive as to presence of cancer

That is true but if PSA’s no longer are done,  there is nothing left to do a preliminary diagnosis leading to biopsies and detection

IF Obamacare   was in control a few years   ago,  my cancer would not have been as there was no other reason to get autopsies and would be pushing up daisies by now
Medicare Advantage   Advantage Plans,  very helpful to old folks on Medicare will soon disappear in 2014 as part of Obamacare rules

We old folk paid taxes   for many years supposedly to provide needed   medical protection Now sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly,  Obamacare has messed up our insurance to give to others, who never paid such taxes

posted by: Lawrence | December 26, 2013  2:04pm

jim black—Too much use of the conditional tense; please re-state your argument and resubmit by the end of school Friday. Until then, your grade is an “F”.

posted by: JamesBronsdon | December 26, 2013  5:28pm

Lawrence, everything under Obamacare is conditional tense. It’s all conditioned on whether the law is convenient or inconvenient to the President on that day. Mr. Black is merely operating in the conditional-world, like the rest of us.

posted by: Walt | December 26, 2013  5:36pm

Correction,above

No biopsies,  not   “no autopsies”, thank God!!!

Without PSA’s first, no biopsies   would be ordered by the Doctor and your cancer would continue eating its way through your insides thanks to Obama’s rules., which De Lauro touts.

posted by: GoConnecticut | December 27, 2013  3:26am

Walt, the cost of my PSA test in 2012 was $18.  People can still get the test and pay the stinking $18.  This is a non-issue.

posted by: Walt | December 28, 2013  10:39am

As I said,  GoCT,  “apparently low-cost’‘.

Just included to show one of the many instances of the Obama group taking services from retirees who paid into Medicare for many years, to go to many who never worked and never paid into   federal funds for medical services,  or never served in the armed forces.

An issue to me especially because absence of PSA,s would have been disastrous for me and the government just cancelled such service with no mention of the alternative, to buy them

Just visit the VA and, if they have not been removed, you’ll see the big signs telling vets over 70 that PSA"s are no longer available for the old—,with no alternatives suggested

posted by: GoConnecticut | December 28, 2013  3:33pm

Walt, sorry I did not notice your “low-cost” statement.

ObamaCare does not remove the PSA blood test.  You seem to know this, but still sort of loosely blame ObamaCare for every change in Medicare over the last few years.  Every year at my job they would increase co-pays and premiums. 

This is not just an economic issue.  The USPSTF panel that made the recommendation believes that the harm outweighs the benefits.  Some people get unneeded treatment and suffer cost, pain, incontinence, and impotence.  I understand that it probably saved your life.  Not to downplay your very serious experience here, but if you gave biopsies to people based on a crystal ball you would also catch some cancers.

My doctor still does the test, perhaps out of habit, and I pay for it.  We have never discussed it.  If the test were positive I’m not sure what the next step would be.  I’d be conflicted but I’d probably go with any suggested treatment out of fear.

posted by: Art Vandelay | December 29, 2013  12:28am

Remember, Rosa DeLauro voted for Obamacare with her constituents best interests in mind.  She strongly believes that the government is far superior to the private sector in managing our nation’s healthcare.  Her beliefs are so strong that she never signed up for it nor ever intends to.  I’m SO glad we have Rosa Delauro to watch after our best interests.

posted by: Walt | December 30, 2013  7:41am

Good point GoCT

Must admit, I do blame Obamacare (directly or indirectly) for whatever went   wrong with Medicare in recent years, I think justly

My experience has been different from yours

Before Obamacare my Medicare Advantage Plan would tweak up benefits or lower co-pays each to encourage year to encourage me to continue with the Plan

Since Obamacare loomed,, just the opposite, and Medicare Advantage Plans which were very good for seniors, I believe will disappear soon under Obamacare rules

That I do not like Obamacare or Obama is obvious I guess.

Art

Facetiousness at its best!