A little more than two weeks into the open enrollment process, Access Health CT officials reported that ConnectiCare plans are so far the most popular with consumers shopping the exchange.
Between Nov. 1 – when the latest open enrollment period started – and Nov. 16, about 5,700 people have newly enrolled in plans through the marketplace, which was created in response to the Affordable Care Act that requires most people to have health insurance.
Of those, the greatest share, 3,398 enrollees, chose plans offered by Farmington-based ConnectiCare. Anthem plans had 1,294 new enrollees, HealthyCT had 630 and UnitedHealthcare had 148. About two-thirds of those are eligible for tax subsidies.
Access Health officials reported the figures Thursday at the monthly meeting of the marketplace’s board, which took place at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
Those new enrollees are in addition to those who previously enrolled in through the exchange, many of whose insurance plans will automatically renew for next year.
Open enrollment for plans on Access Health runs through Jan. 31. Individuals and families needing coverage to begin Jan. 1, however, must select and apply for plans by Dec. 15.
ConnectiCare had the greatest number of enrollees through the exchange even before open enrollment began, officials reported.
As of Oct. 31, ConnectiCare had a total of 41,171 enrollees statewide, compared with Anthem which had 35,614, HealthyCT which had 16,323 and UnitedHealthcare which had 2,449 at that time.
Overall, Access Health officials expect to have the same number of enrollees for 2016 coverage that they have this year, said Access Health CT Executive Director James Wadleigh Jr.
“We’ve had a strong enrollment,” he said.
Officials at Access Health expect to have between 105,000 and 115,000 total enrollees by the time open enrollment ends, said Director of Operations James Michel. That total represents new enrollees as well as existing enrollees who are either auto-renewing or shopping for new plans within the exchange, he said.
“We’re on track to match what we did last year,” he told board members.
In 2015, 110,000 people signed up for plans through the exchange, but total enrollment dropped to around 96,000 by the end of August.
To help consumers navigate the enrollment process, Access Health has almost tripled the staff working in its call centers throughout the state, he said.
Consumers can enroll in plans, or seek assistance, by calling Access Health at (855) 805-4325, visiting the Access Health website, or visiting storefront assistance centers in New Britain or New Haven.
Access Health also is partnering with various community groups and agencies throughout the state, where trained personnel are available to help consumers enroll and answer questions, Michel said.
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, who sits on the board, said further outreach efforts are needed in more rural parts of the state, particularly in Northeast Connecticut.
“We’re still missing some areas of the state that are not being covered,” she said.
Access Health is ramping up its marketing efforts to make more people aware of open enrollment, said Marketing Director Andrea Ravitz.
In addition to print and television ads that are already running, Access Health has distributed hundreds of thousands of information door hangers. In December and January, the exchange will launch radio and billboard ads, as well as ones that appear on-screen at movie theaters.
Over the summer, Access Health reached out to more than 350,000 consumers statewide by attending and handing out promotional material at 35 concerts, festivals and events in various cities and towns, she added.
Exchange officials will give their next update to board members in January.