HARTFORD, CT — Time may be running out for people who have lost their jobs to purchase health insurance.
Access Health CT, Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, reminded people Monday that they have 60 days after losing their job or receiving a furlough to purchase health insurance. That deadline might be coming up for anyone who lost their job in early April.
“We have increased our efforts in the community to help residents know they may qualify for a Special Enrollment if they lose their coverage because of job loss,” Access Health CT CEO James Michel said. “People can enroll any time within 60 days of losing their job. But for those who lost their health insurance in early April, the deadline to enroll is approaching fast.”
An estimated 7,345 Connecticut residents have purchased insurance through the exchange since the start of the pandemic and 41,001 have signed up for Medicaid plans.
Federal law requires employers to offer COBRA coverage, but that coverage often requires employees to pay 100% of the monthly costs and might be unaffordable. Access Health CT is encouraging people to compare their COBRA coverage with the two insurance companies and more than a dozen plans offered on the exchange.
“Access Health CT is helping people find the right health insurance coverage at a stressful time when they lose their jobs,” Michel said. “Many people have never shopped for health insurance before and we don’t want them to miss out on the opportunity to select a better plan because they didn’t know about these options.”
Individuals who experience a “Qualifying Life Event” like the loss of coverage due to job change or unemployment, can enroll online, or over the phone.
As of May 18, 104,677 individuals were enrolled on plans through the exchange, which is a 5.1% increase over last May.
If a person’s income drops substantially they may qualify for Medicaid. There’s no enrollment deadline for those who qualify for Medicaid.
At the end of April (latest data available), Medicaid enrollment was 840,125, which is down from April 2019 (845,610), but up by over 12,000 individuals since January 2020 (827,966), according to the Department of Social Services, administering agency for Medicaid.