Christine Stuart file photo
Access Health CT’s New Britain storefront (Christine Stuart file photo)

Connecticut’s insurance exchange is reaching out to its more than 76,094 members currently enrolled with a private insurance company during the inaugural year of the Affordable Care Act to let them know the second enrollment period is around the corner.

“This year’s process for enrolling in quality, affordable health care coverage will be much different than last year’s process,” Access Health CT Acting CEO Jim Wadleigh said. “Many consumers will be able to automatically re-enroll in the plan they selected last year through the exchange, but everyone still has the option to shop around and compare plans.”

The open enrollment period begins on Nov. 15 and current customers will have the option to change their carrier, select a new plan, or auto renew their current plan. This year consumers will have at least one more option. Plans will be available from Anthem, ConnectiCare, Healthy CT, and United Healthcare in 2015.

While some individuals may choose to keep their current plans, an actuary warned in September that the discounted rate consumers received in 2014 may be different than what they can expect in 2015. Since there are now four insurance carriers in the exchange and the federal government has modified its poverty guidelines, the benchmark plans which are used to set premiums and subsidies have changed. That means that even if your income didn’t change this year, the monthly subsidy applied to that premium may be reduced and increase the monthly amount you contribute.

Most current enrollees will be eligible for auto-renewal, provided their household size, household Modified Adjusted Gross Income, tax filing status, and home address have not changed. Premiums are calculated based on age, geographic area, and family size. If there have been changes in the household, consumers will need to log into their Access Health CT account and update their information and documentation.

However, in order to make changes to your current plan or change carriers or update your contact information then you will have to log back into Access Health CT to make those changes by Dec. 15, if you want the changes to go into effect by Jan. 1, 2015.

The 207,020 individuals enrolled in a Medicaid plan through the exchange will get a separate notice before their renewal period.

Packets of information explaining how to enroll for the second year have been mailed to the households who enrolled with a private insurance carrier during the first year.

Customers must update their household information or select new plans by December 15, 2014 in order to have coverage on January 1, 2015 to avoid potential tax penalties or any gaps in coverage.