Connecticut

Back in July, the Connecticut Insurance Dept. posted the preliminary 2021 rate filings for the individual and small group market carriers. On average, they were seeking rate increases of 6.3% for the individual market and 11.3% for the small group market.

Today, the CT DOI issued their final rate change rulings, and the difference are pretty dramatic:

Insurance Commissioner Issues Decisions For 2021 Health Insurance Rates

Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais today announced the Department has made final decisions on health insurance rate filings for the 2021 coverage year. As a result of these decisions, approximately 214,600 Connecticut consumers are projected to save $96 million.

The Department approved an average increase for individual plans of 0.01 percent, down from the average request of 6.29 percent. The average increase for small group plans is 4.1 percent, down from the requested average of just over 11.28 percent.

via the Connecticut Insurance Dept:

The Connecticut Insurance Department has posted the initial proposed health insurance rate filings for the 2021 individual and small group markets. There are 14 filings made by 10 health insurers for plans that currently cover about 214,600 people.

Important: As noted below, the 214,600 figure is Connecticut's individual & small group market combined.

Two carriers – Anthem and ConnectiCare Benefits Inc. (CBI) – have filed rates for both individual and small group plans that will be marketed through Access Health CT, the state-sponsored health insurance exchange.

The 2021 rate proposals for the individual and small group market are on average slightly lower than last year:

Access Health CT, Connecticut's ACA exchange, originally offered a short COVID-specific Special Enrollment Period through April 2nd. When the original deadline approached, they, like most of the other state-based ACA exchanges, bumped that deadline out...until April 17th, aka tomorrow (Friday).

CT's COVID SEP has always been stricter than mos; they require Conecticut residents to call the exchange as opposed to simply enrolling online. Other state-based exchanges have either made their deadlines much later in the first place (California and DC placed their deadlines in June out of the gate) or they extended them a second time, like Rhode Island and Maryland. In Connecticut's case, however, it doesn't look like they plan on bumping it out a second time:

New Special Enrollment Period For Uninsured Ends Friday, April 17

I've written a LOT lately about the dozen state-based ACA exchanges which have implemented COVID-19-specific Special Enrollment Periods for uninsured residents...as well as the two ACA exchanges (Idaho's, which is state-based, and The Big One, HealthCare.Gov, which hosts 38 states) which haven't done so as of yet.

Given how much outrage there's been at the federal government for not opening up HC.gov to a COVID SEP (Idaho has somehow managed to escape notice for making the same decision) by practically every party (even the American Enterprise Institute, which isn't exactly a lefty organization, is calling for one), it's worth taking a look at the states which do have COVID SEPs open to anyone uninsured to see just how many people are actually taking advantage of them.

Just yesterday I noted that Access Health CT, Connecticut's ACA exchange, was reminding residents that the deadline for their COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period was coming up today.

Moments ago, as I was expecting, they bumped that deadline out by another two weeks:

Access Health CT Extends New Special Enrollment Period For The Uninsured

via Access Health CT (this is actaully the press release from a couple of weeks ago, thus the "starting today" wording):

Access Health CT Urges Uninsured CT Residents To Take Action During Two-Week New Special Enrollment Period

New Special Enrollment Period starts today and ends Thursday, April 2

via Access Health CT:

Access Health CT Announces A New Special Enrollment Period For Uninsured Connecticut Residents

AS COVID-19 THREATENS PUBLIC HEALTH, ACCESS HEALTH CT ANNOUNCES A NEW SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD FOR UNINSURED CONNECTICUT RESIDENTS

New Special Enrollment Period starts Thursday, March 19 and ends Thursday, April 2

via Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont:

Governor Lamont Announces First Positive Case of Novel Coronavirus Involving a Connecticut Resident

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) State Laboratory has confirmed the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) involving a Connecticut resident. The patient, a resident of Wilton who is 40 to 50 years of age, is being treated at Danbury Hospital. The person most likely became infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 during a recent trip to California and sought medical care shortly after returning to Connecticut.

This presumptive COVID-19 case is not related to the COVID-19 case involving a Danbury Hospital employee who is a resident of New York State that was announced on Friday, or the COVID-19 case involving a community physician who made rounds at Bridgeport Hospital and is also a New York State resident that was announced on Saturday.

Hmmm...looks like there was some sort of data breach at AccessHealthCT:

A Small Number Of Access Health CT Consumers Will Receive Mail This Week About Their Personal Information And Should Review Carefully

HARTFORD, Conn. (January 28, 2020)—Approximately 1,100 Access Health CT consumers will be receiving an ORANGE ENVELOPE in the mail this week. It is important that consumers review this information carefully as they will need to take action to enroll in free services being offered to help protect their personal information that may have been compromised in a data breach.

“Access Health CT takes the privacy and security of consumers’ personal information seriously, and it is making this public notice in an abundance of caution,” said Chief Executive Officer of Access Health CT, James Michel. “We apologize for any inconvenience to consumers and we remain steadfast in our commitment to keep our consumers’ best interests as our number one priority.”

via Christine Stuart of CT News Junkie:

The calculation doesn’t include the last day of open enrollment, but Access Health officials reported Thursday that enrollment was down 2.7% in 2020.

An estimated 106,376 Connecticut residents enrolled with either ConnectiCare or Anthem Health Plans. That’s fewer than the estimated 111,066 who signed up for coverage last year.

I'm not sure where she gets 2.7%...that's a 4.2% drop year over year. They tacked on another 200 or so per day over the final week or so...if you assume a small surge on the final day they might top out at 107K, which would be perhaps a 3.7% drop.

A few more useful data nuggets:

It was the fourth year in a row that there was a drop in customers qualifying for federal tax credits to off-set the cost of the monthly premiums. An estimated 69% of those who enrolled this year are eligible for a subsidy. That’s a drop from 78% in 2016.

An important reminder from AccessHealth CT...

Close To 20 Percent Of Access Health CT Customers Still Need To Submit Verification Documents To Stay Covered

  • Customers can scan and submit verification documents at Enrollment Fairs, via mail or online
  • Some AHCT customers will receive letters in the mail requesting specific documents to confirm information in their application.
  • Documents can be submitted online, at an Enrollment Fair where documents can be scanned and uploaded immediately or by mail. 
  • Failure to submit documents by the deadline can result in loss of coverage or financial help.

HARTFORD, Conn. (January 13, 2020)—Open Enrollment to sign up for a 2020 health insurance plan through Access Health CT (AHCT) ends at midnight on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Connecticut residents can still enroll online, over the phone, or in-person at any of our Enrollment Fairs or five Enrollment Locations—and some might need to submit verification documents.

Just another quick update from AccessHealthCT:

As of today, their press release page states the following:

Stats as of December 20, 2019:

Qualified Health Plans (QHP):

  • Net Total QHP Enrollment: 104,799
  • 2020 OE Acquisition Summary: 22,026

...Medicaid: Completed applications/redeterminations processed through the integrated eligibility system: 44,950

That's as of today (?). They'll have to have added another 6,267 people to beat last year's total of 111,066.

Just another quick update from AccessHealthCT:

As of today, their press release page states the following:

Stats as of December 20, 2019:

Qualified Health Plans (QHP):

  • Net Total QHP Enrollment: 104,439
  • 2020 OE Acquisition Summary: 21,001

Overall Volume

  • Unique Website Visitors: 185,869
  • Calls Handled: 183,637

Medicaid: Completed applications/redeterminations processed through the integrated eligibility system: 40,496

This was as of 12/20. They'll have to have added another 6,627 people to beat last year's total of 111,066.

As a reminder, Access Health CT has extended their Open Enrollment deadline by a full month, to January 15th:

Access Health CT Extends 2020 Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period

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