According to the Connecticut Health Foundation, nearly 200,000 people remain uninsured, leaving them at greater risk of poor health outcomes from delayed or avoided care, as well as financially vulnerable if they need emergency treatment.
This week we spoke to Ted Doolittle, State Healthcare Advocate, Office of the Healthcare Advocate (OHA) in Connecticut. OHA’s mission statement is to assist consumers with healthcare issues by establishing effective outreach programs and developing communications related to consumer rights and responsibilities as members of healthcare plans. Our main discussion was about concerns generated by the pandemic and losing health coverage. Doolittle explains the different resources and options that are available to the public on their website.
“When people lose their job, often that means you lose your health insurance, and that’s a problem. As you know, millions of people around the country and in Connecticut did lose their jobs. There are parts of the rescue package to help people who lost their jobs. For instance, free cobra; you can continue your employer health plan when you get laid off, which normally is very expensive but temporarily because of the pandemic that became free. There is also the Obama Care Exchange which in this state is called Access Health CT. The expenses for that went way down because there are new federal subsidies. We actually have a lot of resources for people who lost their coverage on our website.” ct.gov/oha
OHA also focuses on assisting consumers in resolving problems with their health insurance plans and tracking trends of issues or problems.
Doolittle discusses ways to connect with the office, if needed, to submit a complaint or have your case review. “You will be connected with somebody who will gather some information from you, and then if something that can be solved in a quick phone call and you need some type of presentation, we will send the release of information paperwork needed to fill out.”
Resources mentioned in the video:
OHA home page: https://portal.ct.gov/oha
OHA “Lost your coverage?” resource page:
OHA online complaint & intake forms: