Charter Oak celebrates first anniversary

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Friday, Governor Rell announced that her Charter Oak Health Plan has enrolled 10,257 previously uninsured CT residents as of the program’s first anniversary. The program is an affordable option for many people and is providing care to thousands. An important advantage of Charter Oak is that no one is denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, a common reason for denial of private insurance coverage. The program is available to residents at any income level, with subsidies for lower-income residents. Unfortunately 24,452 people have applied for coverage through Charter Oak and were denied; reportedly most were denied because they had not been uninsured for six months. Advocates have been concerned that the state’s six month exclusion policy would leave too many people uninsured too long, risking both their health and finances. While the numbers are improving, providers have been reluctant to sign up with Charter Oak, making access to care difficult in the program. Only half of CT’s acute care hospitals have signed up and only four are participating in all three HMOs. Legislators reportedly have asked for information about what care is being delivered to Charter Oak members.
Ellen Andrews