Best Info on New Access Health CT Exchange


If you haven’t already been hearing a lot about the federal health reform lately, chances are you will soon enough. Several major provisions of the law, commonly known as Obamacare, are taking effect in the coming months.
But there’s still a lot of confusion about what the law does, how it works, and even whether it’s going to happen. (Short answer: yes.)
Here are some details on what’s happening, how it will work, and what it means for you.
what it means for you.
1. What’s changing because of Obamacare?
There will be a new marketplace for people to buy private health insurance, wider eligibility for Medicaid, and new regulations for insurance plans.
On Oct. 1, the state’s health insurance exchange, known as Access Health CT, will begin selling health plans. Those plans will take effect Jan. 1, and they’re expected to cover people who are currently uninsured, who buy insurance on their own, or who work for small businesses. Many customers will qualify for discounted rates on their premiums and some will get help with cost-sharing from the federal government.
On Jan. 1, the state’s Medicaid program will expand to cover adults earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level. Between 50,000 and 60,000 state residents are expected to become eligible.
Also on Jan. 1, the health reform law’s “individual mandate” will take effect, requiring most people to have health insurance or pay a penalty. (There are a handful of exceptions. For more on that, click here.)
A number of changes to insurance regulations will also take effect Jan. 1. Insurers will be required to cover people regardless of their medical histories, and won’t be allowed to charge people more for having pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies will also be prohibited from charging different rates for men and women, and there will be limits on how much premiums can vary based on a person’s age.
2. What is the health insurance exchange? What is Access Health CT?
Access Health CT, also known as the exchange, is a new marketplace for people to buy insurance. (You might have seen its ads.) It will sell health plans offered by private insurance carriers, including Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, ConnectiCare, UnitedHealthcare, and HealthyCT. Customers will be able to compare plans online and get help signing up online, in person or by telephone.
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