James Michel, CEO of Access Health, at a press conference on Dec. 13, 2021
James Michel, CEO of Access Health, at a press conference on Dec. 13, 2021. Credit: Hugh McQuaid / CTNewsJunkie

It’s that time of year again for more than 108,000 Connecticut residents who get their health insurance through Access Health CT. 

The state’s health insurance exchange will reopen for business on Nov. 1 to offer health insurance plans to Connecticut residents. While it’s always important to shop and compare prices and benefits, this year there’s an added financial incentive because the average cost of a plan will go up 9.4%.

According to Wakely Consulting Group, by county, average rates are increasing the most in Litchfield and New London.

ConnectiCare Insurance Company, Inc. (CICI), Anthem Health Plans, Inc. (Anthem) and ConnectiCare Benefits, Inc. (CBI) are continuing participation on the exchange, with 22 proposed plans for next year. That’s down from 25 this year so customers will want to check if their plan will not be offered this year. 

There will be 10 bronze plans, three silver, and seven gold plans offered along with two catastrophic plans available to a small segment of the population.

Plans purchased through the exchange are the only plans eligible for monthly premium tax subsidies. An estimated 87% of those enrolled in 2023 received some sort of subsidy. However, shopping is important because the cost of the plans have changed. 

The example Wakely Consulting gave was a 56-year-old woman named Karen who lives in Fairfield and makes $65,000 a year. That’s above the 400% of federal poverty level which is $58,320 for 2024. 

While the enhanced subsidies under the Inflation Reduction Act limit Karen’s premium costs to 8.5% of her income, she was enrolled in the lowest cost Silver plan in 2023. That plan will increase $118, so to minimize her rate increase in 2024 she might want to switch to the lowest cost bronze plan.

Customers must enroll on or before Dec. 15, 2023 for coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2024. Customers who enroll between Dec. 16, 2023 and Jan. 15, 2024, will have coverage starting Feb. 1, 2024.

AHCT has several ways to get free, in-person help throughout the state, including one-day events called enrollment fairs, as well as enrollment locations and Navigators that host sessions during regular business hours during the week. There’s also the option of enrolling online or calling a broker to help with the process.

For free online help, residents may visit AccessHealthCT.com. Live chat is available by clicking the “Live Chat” icon to connect with a customer service representative. Live chat is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.

Residents may also contact the call center at 1-855-805-4325, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The call center will be open from 8 a.m. to midnight on Dec. 15, 2023 and Jan. 15, 2024.

The call center will be closed on Nov. 23, 2023, Dec. 25, 2023, and Jan. 1, 2024.