DSS has hired over 100 new staff members to help with Medicaid unwinding. The agency is also ramping up the number of contracted staff to support its shared operations with Access Health CT, including call centers and data entry.

The state’s health insurance exchange is opening a special enrollment period for low-income families that will run for the rest of the calendar year.

Residents whose household income is at or below 150% of the federal poverty level qualify for low- or no-cost health plans on the exchange, known as Access Health CT in Connecticut. That’s a household income of $26,130 for a family of two, $39,750 for a family of four or $46,560 for a household of five (Access Health is using last year’s FPL calculations for the enrollment period).

The low- and no-cost plans are made possible by subsidies from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“This new Special Enrollment Period is all about creating access for Connecticut residents with lower income to get the health insurance coverage they need at an affordable price,” James Michel, CEO of Access Health, said in a statement. “And it is another way we are working to accomplish our mission of increasing the number of insured residents and reducing health disparities.”

If the enhanced federal subsidies are extended beyond 2022, the enrollment period could be extended as well, he said.

Coverage for those who sign up would begin on the first of the month following enrollment. So if a person signs up for a health plan in April, coverage would begin May 1.

This is the second special enrollment period currently underway at Access Health. The exchange is also running open enrollment through June 30 for those who qualify for the Covered Connecticut program, an initiative under which the state pays a residents’ portion of the health coverage premiums. The program is open to parents or caregivers and their dependents. To qualify, a household’s income must be greater than 160% of the federal poverty level but not greater than 175%, and parents or caregivers must have at least one child who is younger than 19 and a full-time student. More information on the Covered Connecticut program can be found here.

During Access Health’s last regular enrollment period, which ended in January, 112,634 people signed up for health plans on the exchange, a record number. 

Currently, 846 residents are enrolled in the Covered Connecticut program, which launched last year.

To sign up or inquire about eligibility for the most recent enrollment period, residents should call 855-805-4325. To sign up for the Covered Connecticut program, consumers should call 860-241-8478.

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Jenna CarlessoHealth Reporter

Jenna is CT Mirror’s Health Reporter, focusing on health access, affordability, quality, equity and disparities, social determinants of health, health system planning, infrastructure, processes, information systems, and other health policy. Before joining CT Mirror Jenna was a reporter at The Hartford Courant for 10 years, where she consistently won statewide and regional awards. Jenna has a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Quinnipiac University and a Bachelor or Arts degree in Journalism from Grand Valley State University.