Connecticut: @AccessHealthCT announces new Special Enrollment Period starting May 1st!

OK, this is a first...while most other states have been simply extending their existing COVID Special Enrollment Periods out through August to allow for the newly-expanded ACA subsidies, Connecticut is shutting theirs down at midnight tonight (April 15th)...but relaunching it again on May 1st:

Just posted by Access Health CT:

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Savings Coming for Connecticut Residents

  • You Can Start to Take Action & See Savings After May 1, 2021

A new federal law was passed in March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act, and it changed the way we calculate financial help for customers for this year and 2022. Many more customers will now qualify for financial help to make plans more affordable. Whether you’re a first-time shopper, or an existing customer, there could be big changes ahead for your household, and we want to make sure you know how to take advantage of the new financial help available.

As a result of this new federal law:

  • More people than ever before qualify for help paying for health coverage, even those who weren’t eligible in the past.
  • Most people currently enrolled in a Marketplace plan may qualify for higher tax credit amounts.
  • Your portion of health insurance premiums after these new savings will go down.
  • While this law is in place, eligible individuals and households will pay no more than 8.5% of their household income towards the cost of the benchmark plan or a less expensive plan for whichever plan you select.
  • Access Health CT will open a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) from May 1 – August 15, 2021 for any customer who is uninsured, underinsured, or would like to take advantage of newly available financial help. (This Special Enrollment Period includes Stand-Alone Dental Plans)
  • There are no changes to how someone qualifies for HUSKY Health. The American Rescue Plan added COVID-19 vaccine and treatment coverage to more Medicaid programs, including the new COVID-19 Uninsured Coverage group.

How to find out if you qualify for Marketplace savings for Qualified Health Plans:

New Customers: Starting May 1, 2021 anyone shopping through Access Health CT will automatically see the new savings.

Current Customers:

  • Starting May 1, 2021 customers can update their application and confirm their current plan with updated financial help.
  • For customers that have not updated their application starting on May 1, given the impact of the new bill, AHCT will try to automatically apply new financial help to eligible customers in July 2021. We will be in touch with you by early June to let you know if we can automatically update your application or if we need you to take any action.
  • Please note you can also wait until you file and “reconcile” your 2021 federal tax returns next year (in 2022) to get any additional premium tax credit amounts you may be eligible to receive.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that if you would like to change your plan (May 1- August 15, 2021), you will need to call the Access Health CT call center to make the change, and you should also call your insurance company for questions regarding the plan provider network and prescription drug formulary. Also, any accumulated out of pocket costs such as deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket costs may not carry over when changing plans, and will not carry over if changing your insurance company. Please expect higher than usual wait times for customer service to support this request.

If you get unemployment compensation:

In July 2021, you may be able to receive another increase in premium tax credit amounts. Individual taxpayers who receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits at any time in 2021, will be eligible for a nearly $0 premium benchmark silver plan with comprehensive cost sharing subsidies this year.

For customers that want to change their 2021 plan:

Some customers may want to change their plan selection once they review their new financial help eligibility and plan options. For those who are not currently receiving Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) and have an annual income above 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, you may change to any plan offered through Access Health CT. For those who are already receiving APTCs or are eligible to receive APTCs, you may change to another plan offered by the same insurance company.

However, you must contact your insurance company regarding the treatment of any already incurred cost-sharing amounts such as deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket costs, and should also speak with a broker who can help advise you on whether it could be beneficial to change your plan.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that changing your plan during this time (May 1- August 15, 2021) will require you to call the Access Health CT call center and your insurance company. Please expect higher than usual wait times.

We will post updates to this article as new information is available. Access Health CT customers will hear from us directly about next steps and the impact on their household.