Connecticut

via Access Health CT (via forwarded email):

Dear Brokers,
 
A lot has transpired regarding the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021*. Our team has been meeting with CMS, other state-based marketplaces, our insurance carriers, and other stakeholders, and is in the process of putting together a strategic plan to implement these changes.

We know some of you might be getting questions from customers/stakeholders in the days to come since the federal exchange (Healthcare.gov) will have a robust national campaign supported by President Biden to help spread the word. Here’s what you should know: 

Timelines are/will be different: Healthcare.gov will be implementing the subsidy expansion and a possible Special Enrollment Period at a different time than Access Health CT (AHCT). It may start earlier and may end later than CT (we do not know dates at this time).

Access Health CT:

via Access Health CT:

Access Health CT To Host Two Educational “Healthy Chats” During Special Enrollment Period

  • Free Virtual Sessions to Help Uninsured Connecticut Residents Get Covered    

HARTFORD, Conn. (March 4, 2021) — Access Health CT (AHCT) announced today it will host two educational sessions called “Healthy Chats” on Tuesday, March 9 at 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m. (Spanish only) to help Connecticut residents learn about plan options, financial help, low-cost and free coverage and tips to stay covered during the Special Enrollment Period that runs until March 15, 2021*. The Special Enrollment Period is for consumers who are not currently enrolled in coverage through AHCT.

About these Healthy Chats

The Healthy Chat events are free and will be held virtually via Zoom (in English & Spanish). To join, attendees can access the event here, or here.

While all 50 states & DC have now re-launched (or are about to) a new, special 2021 COVID Enrollment Period, the official 2021 Open Enrollment Period ended in every state as of January 31st.

A few of the state-based exchanges have already released their 2021 OEP summary reports, and today Access Health CT posted theirs...and it's chock full of juicy data nuggets. Let's dive in!

Note: I haven't included every single slide, but most of them are shown. Use the link above if you want to view the rest of them. Click the images for a high-res version of each:

With this press release from AccessHealth CT, 49 states +DC have now announced some sort of 2021 COVID-19 Enrollment Period:

ACCESS HEALTH CT ANNOUNCES A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD FOR UNINSURED RESIDENTS DUE TO ONGOING PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

Access Health CT, Connecticut's state-based ACA exchange, has updated their enrollment summary and now reports 104,946 residents have selected policies for 2021, including 19,056 new enrollees.

Last year they had a total of 107,833 QHP selections during Open Enrollment, so they end the 2021 Open Enrollment Period down 2.7% year over year.

There's no formal press release, so this total might not be official but it should be pretty close.

UPDATE: I've been sent the full powerpoint slideshow from Access Health CT's monthly board meeting, which is chock full of the details; I've pulled the most important ones:

Customer Interactions:

Access Health CT, Connecticut's state-based ACA exchange, has updated their enrollment summary and now reports 102,704 residents have selected policies for 2021, including 16,764 new enrollees.

Last year they had a total of 107,833 QHP selections during Open Enrollment, which they're 4.8% away from breaking.

Connecticut residents still have until January 15th to #GetCovered via AccessHealthCT.com.

Access Health CT, Connecticut's state-based ACA exchange, has updated their enrollment summary and now reports 102,190 residents have selected policies for 2021, including 15,310 new enrollees.

Last year they had a total of 107,833 QHP selections during Open Enrollment, which they're 5.2% away from breaking.

Connecticut residents still have until January 15th to #GetCovered via AccessHealthCT.com.

Access Health CT, Connecticut's state-based ACA exchange, has updated their enrollment summary and now reports 102,049 residents have selected policies for 2021, including 15,310 new enrollees.

Last year they had a total of 107,833 QHP selections during Open Enrollment, which they're just 5.4% away from breaking.

In addition, as noted a few days ago, they're also extending their deadline by a full month (whcih they also did last year):

via Access Health CT:

Access Health CT Extends 2021 Annual Open Enrollment Period As A Result Of Current Health Crisis

CT residents can shop and enroll in health insurance coverage until January 15, 2021

It's turned into an annual tradition: The official annual ACA Open Enrollment Period (OEP) runs from November 1st - December 15th, but most of the state-based ACA exchanges have later deadlines. hThen, right around the 12/15 point, it begins: One by one, some of the state-based exchanges announce further extensions of their deadlines to #GetCovered for the upcoming year.

In some cases they simply bump out the deadline for coverage starting in January, with the final "hard" deadline for February or March coverage staying where it is. In other cases they were never allowing Open Enrollment start dates past January to begin with, so it's the hard deadline which is being extended.

In any event, here's this year's batch of announcements; note that this list could grow longer over the next week or two:

via Access Health CT:

Access Health CT Extends 2021 Annual Open Enrollment Period As A Result Of Current Health Crisis

CT residents can shop and enroll in health insurance coverage until January 15, 2021

  • Access Health CT extended the 2021 Annual Open Enrollment period until January 15, 2021 as a result of the current health crisis, providing more time for CT residents to get covered.
  • If individuals choose a plan during the extension, the coverage will start on February 1, 2021.
  • If customers are already covered by an insurance plan through Access Health CT for January 2021 and would like to pick a new plan starting in February 2021, they must first pay their January monthly bill (premium).

HARTFORD, Conn. (December 16, 2020)—Access Health CT (AHCT) today announced an extension for the 2021 Annual Open Enrollment period until January 15, 2021 as a result of the current health crisis, providing more time for CT residents to get covered.

Access Health CT, Connecticut's ACA exchange, is posting updates to their Open Enrollment Period (OEP) numbers every Friday. Last week they reported 91,965 Qualified Health Plan (QHP) selections during the first 34 days of the 2021 OEP, which sounds more impressive than it is, since most of those were current enrollees having their auto-renewals front-loaded; only 7,500 of them were actually new enrollees. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

This week, they report that they have 95,230 total QHP selections, of which 9,959 are new.

I'm pretty sure the reason for the discrepancy is that, like some other state-based exchanges, AccessHealthCT front-loads auto-renewals of all of their current enrollees, then allows them to actively go in and manually cancel their renewals. So, if they have 100K enrolled this year, they'd plug all of them in for 2021, then wait and see how many choose not to stay enrolled for 2021.

Access Health CT, Connecticut's ACA exchange, is posting updates to their Open Enrollment Period (OEP) numbers every Friday. Last week they reported 100,345 Qualified Health Plan (QHP) selections during the first 33 days of the 2021 OEP, which sounds more impressive than it is, since 94,713 of those were current enrollees having their auto-renewals front-loaded; only 5,632 of them were actually new enrollees. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

This week, they report that they have just 91,965 total QHP selections, of which 7,474 are new.

On the surface this makes no sense...this is around 8,400 fewer than last week!

Access Health CT, Connecticut's ACA exchange, is posting updates to their Open Enrollment Period (OEP) numbers every Friday. Last week they reported 100,094 Qualified Health Plan (QHP) selections during the first 20 days of the 2021 OEP, which sounds more impressive than it is, since 95,857 of those were current enrollees having their auto-renewals front-loaded; only 4,237 of them were actually new enrollees. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

This week, they report that they have 100,345 total QHP selections, of which 5,632 are new. On the surface this sounds off...shouldn't it be 101,489 total? I'm pretty sure the reason for the discrepancy is that not every current enrollee actually renews/re-enrolls for the following year. The exchange plugs them in as renewing, but they can still go in and actively cancel their renewal, which reduces the total a bit. In this case, it sounds like 1,144 current enrollees have done so over the past week. This gives a net increase of 251 over the past week, or 36 per day.

Access Health CT, Connecticut's ACA exchange, is posting updates to their Open Enrollment Period (OEP) numbers every Friday. Last week they reported 99,952 Qualified Health Plan (QHP) selections during the first 13 days of the 2021 OEP, which sounds more impressive than it is, since 97,256 of those were current enrollees having their auto-renewals front-loaded; only 2,696 of them are actually new enrollees. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

This week, they report that they have 100,094 total QHP selections, of which 4,237 are new. On the surface this sounds off...shouldn't it be 101,493 total? I'm pretty sure the reason for the discrepancy is that not every current enrollee actually renews/re-enrolls for the following year. The exchange plugs them in as renewing, but they can still go in and actively cancel their renewal, which reduces the total a bit. In this case, it sounds like 1,399 current enrollees have done so over the past week. This gives a net increase of 142 over the past week, or 20 per day.

Access Health CT, Connecticut's ACA exchange, is posting updates to their Open Enrollment Period (OEP) numbers every Friday. Last week they reported 99,406 Qualified Health Plan (QHP) selections during the first 6 days of the 2021 OEP, which sounds more impressive than it is, since 98,127 of those are current enrollees having their auto-renewals front-loaded; only 1,279 of them are actually new enrollees. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

This week, they report that they have 99,952 total QHP selections, of which 2,696 are new. On the surface this sounds off...shouldn't it be 100,823 total? I'm pretty sure the reason for the discrepancy is that not every current enrollee actually renews/re-enrolls for the following year. The exchange plugs them in as renewing, but they can still go in and actively cancel their renewal, which reduces the total a bit. In this case, it sounds like 871 current enrollees have done so over the past week. This gives a net increase of 546 over the past week, or 78 per day.

Last Friday, Access Health CT, Connecticut's state-based ACA exchange, posted their first 2021 Open Enrollment Period data numbers, and the first QHP enrollment number looks pretty eye-popping at first glance: 99,406 Nutmeggers enrolled in the first 6 days! Wow! Only around 108,000 enrolled throughout the entire 2020 OEP, so that's pretty impressive...

...except that I'm pretty sure that  99% of this figure consists of automatic renewals of their existing exchange enrollees. The next number down, 1,279, is their "2021 OE Acquisition Summary" number. In other words, it looks like Access Health CT has 98,127 people currently enrolled in exchange plans who have been auto-renewed for 2021, plus another 1,279 new enrollees who actually signed up in the first six days.

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.

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