Reflecting On Obamacare
3:28 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Head of State Health Insurance Exchange Reflects on Lessons Learned

Kevin Counihan says Access Health CT's two retail storefronts performed well, enrolling over 70 percent of their 14,000 visitors.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Now that the deadline for enrollment in Obamacare has passed, the head of Connecticut's health insurance exchange has said he learned a few lessons.

Counihan said his office is working to do a better job of educating frontline health care workers.

Kevin Counihan runs Access Health CT, the state insurance exchange, which signed up more than 198,000 people before the March 31 enrollment deadline. Counihan said the state did a lot of things right: its website was relatively stable, and Access Health CT nearly doubled its enrollment goal of 100,000.

Counihan also learned a few things that the state exchange could do better. He said, "I think what's been surprising for us -- and I think this is an example of naïveté on our part -- was that it turned out that physician offices, and office staff, were among the least knowledgeable of the ACA [Affordable Care Act] and of Access Health."

Counihan said his office is working to do a better job of educating these frontline health care workers. "We found out about this a little bit later than we wanted to," he said, "and implemented some communication vehicles and training. We should have got ahead of this a whole lot faster, given how important that information channel is for enrollees."

Outside of the doctor's office, Counihan said outreach efforts did work. The state's two retail storefronts, in New Britain and New Haven, performed well, enrolling over 70 percent of their 14,000 visitors. 

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