After all the debate and arguments revolved around the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, the federal act will go into effect in Connecticut on October 1st. At that time, anyone living in the state can shop for health insurance on Access Health CT to buy coverage for the 2014 calendar year. People with health insurance through an employer or a government-funded plan, such as Medicare or Medicaid, won’t be affected and may keep the coverage they have.
Several insurance companies submitted their proposals for health plans back in May including Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, ConnectiCare, United Healthcare and HealthyCT. These health plans will be sold through a new online marketplace exchange known as Access Health CT, the only entity in the state receiving federal tax benefits for individuals and small employers and where eligible consumers can receive federal subsidies to help purchase insurance. Access Health CT has made it clear that they will vigorously enforce the state’s Unfair Insurance Practices laws against licensed entities seeking to mislead or confuse the public with products, designs or logos intended to look like Access Health CT.
Because the Affordable Care Act has raised passionate arguments both for and against universal healthcare, the state is concerned some insurance companies may take the opportunity to prey on the lack of information consumers have to coerce them into buying products they do not need. If consumers have any questions about a plan’s legitimacy or suspect false advertising, they are encouraged to contact the state Insurance Department at 800-203-3447 to report suspicious offers.
Regulators at the Connecticut state Insurance Department reviewed the rates submitted and made modifications to them. On Monday, the department released all of the approved monthly rates. In addition to individual health plans, several insurers are offering small-group plans on the exchange including Anthem and United Healthcare. Aetna withdrew its application on Friday after rejecting the Insurance Department’s modifications to its rates. ConnectiCare also withdrew its application from small group insurance plans.