CT health insurance exchange update – enrollees trend older, Anthem billing problems, and good stories of coverage

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Customers trying to buy coverage on Access Health CT, our state’s health insurance exchange, from Anthem are having trouble paying their bill to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s January 1st coverage mandate. Anthem is the most popular choice with 25,000 enrollees so far. Many people have paid their bill but have not been set up on the system causing problems getting care; others are having trouble even paying their bill. Anthem has moved the deadline and set up a complicated work-around system for payments. The Governor and Lieutenant governor planned to meet with Anthem representatives yesterday.

A new federal report finds that 59% of enrollees in CT’s exchange from October through December of last year are older than age 45, higher than the national trend (55%). Only 21% are between ages 18 and 34, compared to 24% nationally. Analysts warn that the exchange needs to attract more young, generally healthier, customers to balance the number of older, generally higher cost, consumers to avoid significant premium increases next year. CT also has more men buying on the exchange than women, in contrast to national trends and more customers are buying without financial supports in CT (32%) than nationally (21%). 26, 468 people (31%) were enrolled in Medicaid.
Beyond the problems, there are many reports of people very happy with the new coverage options – both in the exchange and in Medicaid.