The state’s new insurance marketplace has opened a call center to answer questions about health care coverage.

The Access Health CT toll-free call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It can be reached at 1-855-805-HEALTH (4325).

Access Health is the state’s health insurance exchange, a marketplace for selling health insurance created as part of the federal health reform law. It’s expected to sell private coverage to between 80,000 and 100,000 state residents who buy coverage on their own and small businesses. Many will qualify for discounted rates, subsidized by the federal government.

Beginning Oct. 1, people will be able to enroll in health plans through the call center. People will also be able to apply for coverage through Access Health online, with a paper application, or with help from one of more than 300 groups helping to spread the word about health insurance coverage options.

The call center is being operated by Maximus, a Virginia company, and will be staffed by representatives in Hartford and New York City. The Connecticut call center, located at the Access Health office, will have 42 representatives, while the New York call center will have 31, according to Access Health.

Access Health CEO Kevin Counihan said in a statement that the people answering phones have had “extensive training in the intricacies” of the health plans sold through Access Health, and in the tax subsidies many customers will be eligible to receive to lower their premium costs.

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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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