Obamacare update: More than half of enrollees getting Medicaid, many callers complaining about price

More than half of the people who have signed up for coverage through Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange, qualified for Medicaid, according to figures released Friday.

Among people shopping for private insurance, meanwhile, price is a main concern, according to an Access Health official.

Since it opened for enrollment Oct. 1, the exchange has processed 1,979 applications. They were submitted on behalf of 1,544 people who qualify for Medicaid and 1,443 people who signed up for private insurance.

For both groups, the coverage will take effect Jan. 1.

The exchange’s call center has received 10,997 calls and the website has gotten 126,055 visitors since the launch.

Among the callers, many have concerns about the price. “It’s too expensive. I can’t afford it,” is the most frequent feedback from callers, Peter Van Loon, Access Health’s chief operations officer, told a committee of the exchange’s board during a meeting Thursday.

“Price is the big one, and people don’t like the price, which is kind of what we expected,” he said.

Other callers have more basic questions, asking what they’re eligible for and what Medicaid is. Some people call to voice political opinions, he said.

Although officials had expected most calls would be lengthy, they have so far averaged 10 minutes, Van Loon said. “We want more calls and we want them longer,” he said.

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