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Good Economy Is Blamed For Dip In Health Insurance Enrollment

Good Economy Is Blamed For Dip In Health Insurance Enrollment

CT News Junkie, February 21, 2020

By Christine Stuart

Enrollment in health insurance plans offered on Connecticut’s exchange in 2020 dipped by 3,233 residents.

According to Access Health CT, 107,833 residents enrolled with one of the two insurance companies offering their plans on the state-run exchange. Last year, 111,066 people had enrolled.

The dip in enrollment was attributed to a good economy, which has allowed people to get health insurance through their employer.

A survey of 12,635 former Access Health customers found 76.4% had health insurance coverage for 2020. Only 16.3% who didn’t purchase plans are going without any health insurance. Of those who decided to go without health insurance the number one reason given was “cannot afford it.”

Rob Blundo, director of technical operations and analytics for Access Health CT, said affordability is far and away the reason why individuals indicate they are terminating a plan.

“It’s also a big source of dissatisfaction,” Blundo said.

Vicki Veltri, executive director of the Office of Health Strategy, told Blundo and the Access Health CT board of directors that “even if enrollment has dropped a little bit you did a good job of keeping the enrollment numbers up given the headwinds.”

Of the 107,833 enrollees an estimated 83,000 renewed their policies from 2019. At least 25,280 people enrolled again, including 6,800 first time customers.

Of the 11,900 customers who did not renew their coverage in 2020, 29% were not eligible for any financial help with their monthly premiums. 

ConnectiCare Benefits again has the largest share of business on the exchange with 77.7% of the customers. The other 22.3% enrolled in plans with Anthem BCBS.

Since the last open enrollment ConnectiCare’s enrollment has decreased 0.3% and Anthem’s has increased 0.3%.

An estimated 46% of customers used a broker to enroll, which is about 3% more than in 2019.

An estimated 14% of enrollees have been enrolled since 2015.

Uninsured residents back to top

For the first time this year Access Health also canvassed neighborhoods where they believe there are a large number of uninsured residents.

Connecticut’s uninsured rate was 5.3% percent or around 186,000 individuals in 2018.

Access Health’s earlier research on the uninsured population found that individuals who are self-employed at their own non-incorporated business account for 14.1% of the uninsured population and those who have worked less than full-time over the last 12 months are 37.6% of the uninsured population.

“When considered together, these findings could indicate that individuals who are self-employed, including contract, freelance workers, or sole-proprietorships, should be key areas of focus for Access Health CT,” the research concluded.

They canvassed 671 businesses.

They also knocked on more than 13,000 doors.

According to early data, of the 6,074 addresses they visited without anyone enrolled, they were able to enroll residents in 759 of those households. That includes new customers and some who re-enrolled. And about 13,000 of the people they canvassed were already customers.

An estimated 49.2% of all addresses canvassed had at least one active enrollment with Access Health CT.