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Exchange name: Access Health CT
State-based or federally run: Access Health CT is among the 17 declared state-based health insurance exchanges, which include Washington, D.C.
Plans: Individuals, families, employees with participating employers may buy health insurance from Access Health CT, Connecticut’s online health insurance marketplace.
Those who live in Connecticut and wish to buy exchange-based coverage can visit accesshealthct.com and begin searching through plan options. To obtain a list of plans for which they are eligible, visitors enter their county and age, as well as the age of any additional applicants. They will also be asked to answer optional questions for detailed pricing and household income options for estimated tax credits and subsidies.
Plans will be listed with a quality rating, their Obamacare metal level category, and an estimated monthly premium after tax credit. Highlighted plan information will also include annual out-of-pocket max and annual deductible amounts. Those shopping for coverage also have access to detailed plan documents and a tool that will help them determine whether or not their current health care providers are included in the plan’s network.
Connecticut’s plans will also include services within the 10 essential health benefits categories; this is a requirement for all health plans that meet Obamacare’s requirement that most Americans carry health insurance. In states that did not select a benchmark plan for essential health benefits, the default EHB plan became the state’s largest small group health plan.
Rates: Consumers may access estimated monthly premium rates and potential tax credits when obtaining quotes at accesshealthct.com. Monthly premiums will vary based on factors such as plan selection and applicant age. Under the Affordable Care Act, Americans cannot be denied coverage or charged more due to preexisting conditions. These provisions apply whether plans are purchased via the marketplace or not.
Those who purchase health coverage through the Obamacare exchanges may qualify for tax credits and additional premium subsidies, depending on household income. The healthedeals.com Health Care Reform Calculator, which was listed among The Financial Times “Best Online Tools for the Toughest Health Questions,” can help those planning to buy from an exchange calculate their Obamacare health insurance cost and tax credit.
Consumer assistance: When it comes to questions regarding Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, Connecticut residents have access to Navigators and in-person Assisters. Licensed brokers are available to help consumers select an individual or family health insurance plan. Those seeking guidance may simply fill out a form located at Access Health CT to obtain a list of professionals near them.
Those who need help creating an exchange account or selecting an Assister may also call 855-805-HEALTH (855-805-4325) or TTY 855-789-2428.
Additional coverage options
Consumers in all states are wise to consider additional protection. For instance, a bundled gap plan that includes coverages such as accident medical expense insurance and accident disability income insurance pays lump-sum cash benefits when a qualifying event occurs and can help create more comprehensive benefits like those offered through an employer. A critical illness insurance plan pays out lump-sum cash benefits upon diagnosis of certain illnesses that can be used for everything from medical bills to childcare.
Supplemental insurance is not available through state-based or federally operated health insurance exchanges and does not qualify for Obamacare premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies. However, these plans come in designs to fit various household budgets, and they easy to obtain directly from the plan’s carrier or a licensed agent or broker.
Need coverage now?
If you need health insurance to get you by until Jan. 1, 2014, a temporary insurance plan can provide coverage for as few as 30 days. Start shopping on healthedeals.com or contact a healthedeals.com sales consultant for more information on short-term health insurance and supplemental plans.
Jenifer Dorsey is a freelance writer whose specialties include health and fitness, wellness, sports and recreation. She is a competitive amateur track cyclist who also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, camping and other outdoor adventure. Jenifer received a B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and is an MFA candidate at Naropa University. She lives in Colorado.