There are currently 96,966 Connecticut residents enrolled in private plans on Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, but that’s a decrease from the 110,095 who were enrolled at the end of March.
This year’s “preliminary” survey results also found that 36 percent of those with coverage didn’t use it. That’s an increase of 10 percent from 2014. Also, 28 percent of those with coverage don’t have a primary care physician, which is up from 23 percent in 2014.
Andrea Ravitz, Access Health director of marketing, said a lot of people are choosing a plan by themselves and the exchange has to make sure they are choosing the “right plan” for their circumstance.
“Highlighting the important role of primary care physicians provides us an opportunity to encourage enrollees to utilize this important benefit,” Ravitz said. “These doctors are the best place to start when you need any type of health care. They can help you navigate the system, assist you with preventive care, or find the right specialist.”
The survey, conducted by The Pert Group, found that 50 percent of new enrollees in these private health plans offered on the exchange did not have health insurance prior to enrolling for coverage.
The survey, which was conducted between June 4 and June 24, also tracked the reasons why some residents were terminating their coverage.
The survey found 19 percent dropped their plans because of cost. The remaining top three reasons for termination included a change in status (marriage, divorce, death in the family), a spouse obtaining insurance through employment, and newly obtained coverage under Medicare or Medicaid.
“One of the goals of the ACA is to create a marketplace that provides downward pressure on the cost of insurance,” Access Health CEO James Wadleigh said. “As more carriers enter the market to compete for individual business through the exchange, the less expensive coverage will become and that’s good for consumers.”
The Insurance Department is holding public hearings for three health insurance plans requesting rate increases on Monday, July 27.
More results and the demographic information of those surveyed are expected to be released in September. Ravitz said the information given to the Access Health Board of Directors on Wednesday was necessary to help her plan a marketing campaign for the open enrollment period, which begins in November.
In the meantime, the state will hold a special enrollment period for low-income parents being forced by a budget decision to move from Medicaid to the exchange.
In order to avoid a coverage gap, an estimated 1,350 individuals will have to pick a plan on the exchange before Aug. 15 to receive coverage starting on Sept. 1.