With the open enrollment deadline looming, organizations across Connecticut are helping people sign up for health insurance coverage. Health centers are open Monday in many cities, including Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Norwich, and Waterbury, with extra in-person help.
Connecticut residents have until midnight on Monday to sign up and avoid a federal tax penalty. Information on the state's health insurance marketplace can be found at accesshealthct.com. There's also a call center at 1-855-805-HEALTH. People will be answering phones until midnight on Monday.
The Affordable Care Act is expected to increase demand for primary care in the U.S. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, nearly 20 percent of Americans live in areas without sufficient numbers of primary care doctors.
The Association of American Medical Colleges found that unless something changes soon, the U.S. can expect a shortage of about 45,000 primary care doctors by 2020, and a shortage of over 90,000 doctors from all specialties.
Connecticut’s newest medical school has received approval to admit a larger class this fall. The U.S. Department of Education’s accreditation authority has given Quinnipiac University’s Frank H. Netter School of Medicine the green light to increase its class size from 60 to 90 students next academic year.
Admission to the medical school will remain exceedingly competitive. This year there were over 5,000 applications for the 60-seat, first-year class.
Michael Ellison, associate dean of admissions, said it’s a diverse pool of applicants, with science and non-science backgrounds. "Those who are traditional age [are included]," he said, "those who are little bit more seasoned; individuals who have had distinguished careers, perhaps working in industry and government, now wanting to come back and pursue careers in health care."
Quinnipiac’s particular focus is on training doctors who want to go into primary care. Eventually, the school hopes to expand to 125 students per class.
This report includes information from The Associated Press.