Connecticut Health Exchange: 7,615 Enrolled In October; 47 Percent Into Medicaid

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Access Health CT, Connecticut’s public health exchange, on Friday released figures showing that 7,615 people enrolled for coverage — nearly half qualifying for Medicaid — since the exchange opened for business on Oct. 1.

Among the enrollees, 47 percent qualified for Medicaid and 53 percent signed up for private health insurance plans. Medicaid is funded through a combination of federal and state funds.

Access Health CT said 3,550 enrolled in Medicaid through the exchange and 4,065 enrolled in a health plan offered by a private insurance company.

Separately, 55 small businesses bought plans on the exchange to provide coverage to 306 people.

That means the total number of people to enroll through the exchange so far is 7,921, or 2.3 percent of Connecticut’s 344,000 uninsured as estimated by Access Health CT.

The Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in March 2010 created state health exchanges, which are online marketplaces where people can shop for health coverage if they don’t already have it. It’s also the only place a person can qualify for a federal subsidy to offset the price of insurance, if your income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, meaning $44,680 for an individual or $92,200 for a family of four.

The exchange has not yet released statistics to show how many of those who bought private health plans were eligible for, and received, a federal subsidy to lower the premiums.

The exchange also has not released statistics to show how many people enrolled with each insurance carrier. Three insurers are offering individual health insurance plans on the Connecticut exchange: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut, ConnectiCare, and the new co-op, HealthyCT.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut was the most popular plan on the exchange, getting 67 percent of the market, followed by ConnectiCare with 31 percent, and HealthyCT with 2 percent.

At its Nov. 21 monthly board meeting, Access Health CT will report how many people enrolled with each health insurer and how many people received federal subsidies. As of its last meeting on Oct. 17, the exchange had 51 percent of enrollees into Medicaid and 49 percent into private plans. Among those who bought private health plans, 59 percent qualified for a federal subsidy.

About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by Politico.com, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (businessjournalism.org, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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