State health exchange considers new transition fairs, adds hours

A sign outside the first transition enrollment fair in Danbury

Kyle Constable / CTMirror.org

A sign outside the first transition enrollment fair in Danbury

One week after the first pair of transition enrollment fairs drew just one attendee, Connecticut’s health insurance exchange announced Wednesday it plans to keep future fairs open for an additional hour and will consider scheduling new ones.

The decision, which was announced by Access Health CT in an email Wednesday morning, comes after nobody attended its first fair in Danbury last Wednesday and only one person attended the second fair in Waterbury on Thursday.

As many as 14,000 low-income parents will lose their state-sponsored Medicaid health insurance coverage after July. Upcoming changes to the eligibility requirements will cause those on the state’s HUSKY A plan who make more than 155 percent above the poverty level to lose their coverage.

This has prompted Access Health officials to take additional steps to encourage these individuals to transition to a new insurance plan. The fairs are one of the larger components of that effort.

Original plans called for all but one of the fairs to run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on various weekdays, a decision that might have affected attendance at the first two.

Andrea Ravitz, director of marketing for Access Health, said keeping fairs open until 6 p.m. would “allow more flexibility for people who work.”

Wednesday’s email also said Access Health is exploring the possibility of holding additional fairs, including on Saturday for people who cannot attend on weekdays.

Ravitz said the fairs are “just one of the many touchpoints” in Access Health’s plan to contact and assist affected individuals.

“We are also using personalized notices, postcards, posters, live phone calls, social media, earned media and community outreach to reach this population and help them avoid a gap in coverage,” Ravitz said.

The exchange held its third fair Wednesday afternoon in Stamford and is scheduled to hold four more in the coming weeks:

  • June 30: Norwich – United Community and Family Services (1- 6 p.m.)
  • July 7: Hartford – Hartford Public Library (1 – 6 p.m.)
  • July 13: New Haven – Access Health CT New Haven Enrollment Center (1 – 6 p.m.)
  • July 14: Bridgeport – Bridgeport Public Library (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

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