CT News Junkie

A Connecticut news site that understands the usual media offerings just…aren’t…enough.

Health Exchange Surpasses 120K

by | Feb 10, 2014 5:38pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Health Care, White House, New Haven

Christine Stuart photo Access Health CT, Connecticut’s insurance exchange, reached a milestone this weekend when it surpassed a self-imposed goal of enrolling 100,000 residents before the end of March.

Since Oct. 1 of last year, the exchange reports that it has enrolled 121,983 individuals. About 41.5 percent, or 50,665 individuals, were enrolled in plans with one of the three private insurance carriers whose plans are available through the exchange. The rest of the 71,318 individuals were enrolled in Medicaid based on their income levels. About 48,983 of those were through Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, and another 22,335 individuals would have qualified for Medicaid without the Affordable Care Act.

This is the first time in Connecticut that Medicaid enrollment has surpassed enrollment with one of the three private insurance carriers. Previously, Connecticut had bucked the trend in other states, which saw a faster enrollment in Medicaid.

Information regarding the age of enrollees and other demographic information was not available Monday.

Kevin Counihan, executive director of Access Health CT, said federal officials told him that Connecticut was the first state to reach its internal enrollment goal.

Enrollment of 121,983 is 22 percent more than the March 31 goal, he said.

But exactly how many of those newly enrolled didn’t have health insurance before signing up is still difficult to determine.

“We’re in the process of doing some analysis of our applications to understand the insurance status of our enrollees,” Counihan said.

He said at the end of the analysis they’re hoping they will be able to announce that the uninsured level in Connecticut has drop below 8 percent. That’s based on the assumption that about 286,000 individuals in the state are uninsured.

He said the application doesn’t ask for insurance status, but it can be calculated that most of the uninsured will qualify for Medicaid. He said it’s probably safe to say that about 25 to 50 percent of the Medicaid population was previously uninsured. He said it’s estimated that about 5,000 to 8,000 who purchased a plan with one of the private insurance carriers were previously uninsured.

“But again these are estimates,” Counihan said.

During its inaugural year, the state didn’t require Access Health CT to negotiate premium rates with the three health insurance companies participating in the exchange. Instead, they had the Insurance Department review the rates, which some felt was sufficient.

However, there are some lawmakers who would like to see the state be more aggressive with downward pressure on the monthly premiums offered on the exchange. There’s a bill introduced by the Insurance and Real Estate Committee that asks the exchange to actively negotiate with the companies.

“We have the fourth highest costs, so we should expect to have relatively high pricing,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday.

According to a White House report released in September, Connecticut had the fourth highest premiums in the country.

Malloy said he thinks things went well in the first year because some insurance companies that considered participating decided not to after learning the Insurance Department would be reviewing their rates.

“There’s a lack of understanding the difference between an active Insurance Department that’s reviewing rates. We did that. It led to people dropping out because they didn’t like the fact that perhaps we were going to point out their costs were too high,” Malloy said. “I think we’re trying to strike the right balance and we’ll have that discussion with the legislature as time goes on.”

Ellen Andrews, executive director of the Connecticut Health Policy Project, thinks the higher premiums stem from the state’s decision not to negotiate with insurance carriers over rates. She has said that if it was based on medical pricing, then states like New Jersey and New York, which have higher medical costs and higher costs of living, would be seeing higher monthly premiums, but that’s not what’s happening.

There are only three private insurance carriers participating in Connecticut’s exchange. There are at least 17 insurance carriers participating in New York’s health exchange, while there are 11 carriers participating in Florida’s.

Counihan said Monday that other insurance companies have been expressing interest in participating in Connecticut’s exchange.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Share this story with others.

Share | |


(11) Archived Comments

posted by: art vandelay | February 10, 2014  10:12pm

art vandelay

120 thousand applicants is a drop in the bucket compared to what its going to take to make Obamacare a success.  My guess is that only a fraction of the required participants applied. My guess is that only the sick, meek, and uninsured applied. The applicants Obama needs walked away with their fingers holding their noses.

posted by: Bluecoat | February 10, 2014  10:15pm

Be aware of false numbers
Some people I know purposely or supposedly purchased “private” health plans in order to stay away from the exchanges
During their first doctors visit with their “private” plan, they were told that the codes on their insurance card were Obama Care health exchange codes.
Seems like people who bought supposed private plans were purposely put in the government exchanges to inflate the numbers.
Someday in the near future, we will find out these numbers are fraudulent.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | February 10, 2014  10:20pm

what’s not to like about affordable health weed?  get a script, twist one up!



posted by: dano860 | February 11, 2014  9:42am

I think we would like to see the breakdown. How many are paying and how many are being put into Medicare. Seeing the amount of money being handed out in subsidies would be nice too.

posted by: Christine Stuart | February 11, 2014  10:08am

Christine Stuart

Okay so 50.665 are paying private insurance companies and 71,000 are on Medicaid.

The amount of people receiving a subsidy has been traditionally about 70 percent of the 50,665, but they were unable to say if that number has changed.

As soon as I know more, you will know more.

posted by: Bluecoat | February 11, 2014  11:23am

The questions is:
How many of these “enrollees” never had helath insurance before and are new.
Not how many qualified for Medicaid, Medicare, or have psupposedly purchased “private” health plans.
All these categories are being counted in these numbers and are being used to perpetuate that the CT Health exchange is a success.
This is fraud and these numbers are fictitious!

So how many people are new and never had health insurance before?

posted by: Bluecoat | February 11, 2014  11:26am

Aetna is placing people who purchase “private plans” into the exchange, and telling it’s customers it was a mistake, after the fact, and then sending out new insurance cards.
Someone should be investigating this…....

posted by: Bluecoat | February 11, 2014  12:03pm

I think it is safe to say there are no more “private Health plans”.
We are all in the exchange at this point.
This whole thing is a scam.
I just love watching all the Twister contortion moves as these people pat themselves on the back.

posted by: dano860 | February 11, 2014  12:44pm

Christine, thanks.
So there are no over lapping numbers here? The ones that get subsidies don’t get to buy into the three private carriers plans?
You may not have that answer, it’s probably buried if it happens.
Overall it looks like we are doing pretty well when compared to some of the other States.

posted by: Christine Stuart | February 11, 2014  12:58pm

Christine Stuart

About 70 percent of the 50,665 receive subsidies based on their income level. The plans they are purchasing are private plans. The subsidy is being paid by the federal government to the insurance company so the individual just receives a monthly premium check for the difference. You can only get a subsidy in the exchange. You can still purchase plans outside the exchange but those are not eligible for subsidies.

Also Aetna is not a member of Connecticut’s exchange so you can’t purchase an Aetna plan in Connecticut and receive a subsidy.

posted by: Really? | February 11, 2014  2:05pm

To Art Vandelay’s comment, “My guess is that only the sick, meek and uninsured applied.” Untrue.  I work for a non-profit in CT that doesn’t offer a group health plan, provides some health care $$ benefit that can be applied toward a plan but you have to go find it yourself.  And given that we have a pre-existing condition and have been turned down by five insurance plans previously we welcome the ability to apply through the exchange, not be turned down and enroll our entire mostly healthy family. For us and many others like us we appreciate the law and plan despite its roll-out issues.

Social Networks We Use

Connecticut Network


Our Partners

Sponsored Messages