WNPR

Connecticut's Health Insurance Open Enrollment In Its Last Hours

Dec 21, 2017

Open enrollment on the state’s health care exchange, Access Health Connecticut, ends Friday at midnight. 

Connecticut residents had one week longer to sign up for an insurance plan than customers of the federal site, healthcare.gov.

As of Thursday morning, some 106,000 people had signed up for health care plans through Access Health CT.

Exchange CEO Jim Wadleigh called this the most challenging open enrollment period in the five years it’s been up and running, citing uncertainty over the future of the health care law, mixed messages from the Trump administration, and the shortest enrollment period ever, at just seven weeks. 

“But despite all those challenges, we’ve had a very successful open enrollment, and you’re starting to see it in our numbers," he told a press conference Thursday. "As we get closer and closer to the end it looks like our open enrollment is going to be just as successful as previous years. I’m not sure I would have guessed that two months ago.”

Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman said the just-passed Republican tax bill has caused a lot of confusion over Obamacare markets because it eliminates the individual mandate.

"It’s important that residents understand the elimination of the health care mandate in the tax bill doesn’t have any bearing on next year, 2018," she said. "Residents still need to be covered or face federal tax liability."

Wyman said she’d be in favor of the state reimposing its own health care mandate in order to stabilize markets here. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that nationwide, the elimination of the individual mandate may lead to 13 million people losing coverage.

Exchange officials are anticipating a last-minute rush to sign up. But they're urging residents to keep trying even if lines are busy. Everyone who contacts the office and leaves a message before midnight on Friday will be able to sign up.