Health insurance probably isn’t the first thing you associate with a trip to the beach, but outreach teams from the state’s new insurance marketplace will be visiting beaches to offer information on getting coverage made available as part of the federal health reform law.

A plane with the banner “Get Covered!” is also expected to fly over some beaches and representatives from Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange will hand out sunscreen.

The marketing effort is part of a push to raise awareness of the new marketplace, which was created by the federal health reform law and is expected to connect between 80,000 and 100,000 Connecticut residents with health insurance in its first year.

Representatives from Access Health have already handed out information on health insurance at community festivals and concerts, including a recent Lil Wayne show, and have plans to attend more in the coming months. In addition, community groups are receiving training and funding to help people learn about their options and sign up for coverage.

People can begin enrolling in health plans through Access Health on Oct. 1 to get coverage that takes effect Jan. 1. Many customers will be eligible for discounted insurance rates subsidized by the federal government.

The beach visits will take place at Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic, Silver Sands Beach in Milford, and Hammonasset State Park in Madison, Aug. 24, Aug. 31, and Sept. 2.

Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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