While many governors are cursing Obamacare, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy sang the praises of health reform Thursday as he visited the New Britain health exchange storefront, one week after the location opened as the first of its kind in the nation.
The grand opening of the brightly colored store at 200 Main St. came a day after Access Health CT, the health exchange in Connecticut, opened the nation’s second Obamacare storefront — at 55 Church St., New Haven.
The stores are part of a $15 million outreach program that includes TV ads, direct help from more than 300 trained navigators and assisters and 100 people at community health centers, appearances at hundreds of events and a call center, at 855-805-4325.
State residents can also sign up without any direct help at www.accesshealthct.com.
“We’re taking a topic of national importance and connecting with people one-on-one at the most local level,” Malloy said in New Britain Thursday. “It’s this kind of personal outreach that’s going to make a difference in demonstrating the benefits and value of health care reform for our Connecticut residents.”
So far, about 50 people have signed up for health plans at the New Britain location, an Access Health CT spokeswoman said.
Connecticut’sonline exchange is moving toward circumventing the federal system and winning plaudits as the most reliable in the nation, while the federal Obamacare system, www.healthcare.gov, which runs the exchanges in 33 states, has been a national embarrassment. The White House and Department of Health and Human Services promise it will be fixed by the end of this month.
Both Connecticut stores are open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m.