CT Obamacare exchange enrolling more than 3,000 people per day

Connecticut’s health insurance exchange has been enrolling between 3,000 and 4,000 members per day as the sign-up deadline approaches, exchange CEO Kevin Counihan said Thursday.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 178,601 state residents had signed up for Medicaid or private insurance through the exchange, Access Health CT.

Of those, 62 percent, or 111,050, will receive Medicaid coverage. The other 67,551 signed up for private insurance. Among private insurance customers, 78 percent are receiving federal financial aid to pay their premiums.

Another 5,000 or so people signed up for private insurance plans but had their coverage terminated because they didn’t pay their bills, Access Health’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Van Loon said. Some have called the exchange’s call center to ask if they can sign up again and pay this time, he added.

The enrollment data was released during a meeting of the Access Health board Thursday. Other highlights include:

  • The average age of people buying private insurance through the exchange is 43.4.
  • A third of the exchange’s enrollees are 55 and older. Another 30 percent are under 35. Twenty-four percent of enrollees are ages 45 to 54.
  • The exchange has added more young members since December, when 41 percent of its customers were 55 and older. In December, 8 percent were in the coveted 18-to-25 age bracket and 11 percent were ages 26 to 34. This month, 10 percent of the enrollees are 18 to 25 and 13 percent are 26 to 34, while the percentage of members over 55 is down to 33 percent.
Access Health CT enrollment by age
Ages of Connecticut residents buying insurance through the exchange
December January February March
Under 18 7% 8% 8% 7%
18-25 8% 9% 9% 10%
26-34 11% 12% 13% 13%
35-44 11% 12% 13% 13%
45-54 22% 23% 24% 24%
55-64 40% 35% 33% 32%
65+ 1% 1% 1% 1%
Access Health CT
  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s largest insurer, continues to enroll the majority of the customers, but its market share has fallen from 60 percent in February to 54 percent this month. ConnectiCare Benefits Inc. now has 43 percent of the exchange’s customers, up from 37 percent last month. HealthyCT, a new nonprofit insurer created with funds made available through the federal health law, continues to lag with 3 percent of the customers.
  • Twenty percent of customers picked “gold” plans, which have the highest premiums but require members to pay the lowest out-of-pocket costs when getting care. Fifteen percent picked bronze plans, which have the lowest premiums available to most customers but higher deductibles. Sixty-three percent of customers chose silver plans. The design of silver plans vary: One type has mid-level premiums and out-of-pocket costs. A second type is available only to people with low incomes and includes subsidized out-of-pocket costs. Two percent of customers selected catastrophic plans, which are available only to people under 30 and those whose previous plans were discontinued because of the health law.

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