Ac­cess Health still ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions

The dead­line for en­rolling in in­sur­ance plans was ex­tended to Jan. 15 by Ac­cess Health CT.

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - News - By Jack Kramer

HART­FORD — With the clock tick­ing, Ac­cess Health CT’s lat­est sta­tis­tics show they are clos­ing in on last year’s num­bers.

As of Fri­day af­ter­noon there are now 109, 126 Con­necti­cut res­i­dents en­rolled in in­sur­ance plans through the ex­change. The dead­line for en­rolling was ex­tended to Jan. 15.

Last year 114,000 Con­necti­cut res­i­dents en­rolled in plans sold on the ex­change.

The dead­line for Con­necti­cut res­i­dents to en­roll was orig­i­nally Dec. 15, but it was ex­tended. Cov­er­age starts Feb. 1 for any­one who en­rolled in a plan af­ter Dec. 15.

On Fri­day, U. S. Sen. Chris Mur­phy was in Hart­ford where he was en­cour­ag­ing those who haven’t signed up yet to en­roll.

“We’ve only got a cou­ple days to get the mes­sage out,” Mur­phy said at an un­re­lated event ear­lier in the day in New Haven be­fore head­ing to Hart­ford. “I’m go­ing to Hart­ford to try and get the word out.”

Ac­cess Health CT has spent about $ 4 mil­lion in its mar­ket­ing ef­forts this year, which is sim­i­lar to amounts they’ve spent in past years.

Con­sumers had an ad­di­tional month to choose plans as they ex­pe­ri­ence big­ger in­creases in monthly pre­mi­ums even though the in­creases ap­proved by in­sur­ance reg­u­la­tors were lower.

Of­fi­cials and politi­cians have been thrown a curve­ball this year by a Texas judge’s rul­ing late last year that threw out the 2010 Af­ford­able Care Act.

The judge agreed with a group of 20 Repub­li­can at­tor­neys gen­eral who felt a change in tax law last year that elim­i­nated the penalty for not hav­ing health in­sur­ance in­val­i­dated the en­tire law.

For­mer Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy, whose ad­min­is­tra­tion over­saw im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ACA, said the de­ci­sion “de­fies logic and puts health cov­er­age for mil­lions of peo­ple and tens of thou­sands of Con­necti­cut res­i­dents at risk.”

He said if this de­ci­sion is al­lowed to stand peo­ple with pre- ex­ist­ing con­di­tions will once again be de­nied cov­er­age when they get sick.

The White House has said they ex­pect the judge’s rul­ing to be ap­pealed to the Supreme Court and in the mean­time the law re­mains in place.

Con­necti­cut, along with other states, have filed an ap­peal.

Ac­cess Health CT has worked hard to let Con­necti­cut res­i­dents know that the Texas rul­ing does not af­fect their abil­ity to sign up for and use 2019 health in­sur­ance plans through Ac­cess Health CT.

“Ac­cess Health CT is the of­fi­cial mar­ket­place un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act in Con­necti­cut and we are com­mit­ted to uphold­ing the ACA and the sup­port it pro­vides to the res­i­dents of our state,” CEO James Michel, has said. “We will not let this news get in the way of ful­fill­ing our mis­sion to re­duce the rate of the unin­sured and help Con­necti­cut res­i­dents get health in­sur­ance cov­er­age for them and their fam­i­lies.”

Mur­phy said part of his mes­sage in Hart­ford on Fri­day would be to re­it­er­ated that Ac­cess Health and the Af­ford­able Care Act are alive and well in Con­necti­cut.

“We have to beat back Trump’s sab­o­tage cam­paign,” Mur­phy said.

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