More People Enroll in Private Insurance Than in Medicaid in Connecticut

Nov 13, 2013

Connecticut is the only state in the country to have enrolled more people in private insurance than Medicaid. Above is a picture of the Access Health CT Enrollment Center in New Britain.
Credit The Connecticut Mirror

Connecticut is the only state that has so far enrolled more people in private insurance plans than Medicaid since open enrollment began on October 1. Access Health CT has signed up about 6,000 people in private plans, and about 4,700 in government-funded Medicaid coverage, according to the Associated Press.

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Access Health CT, spoke on WNPR's Where We Live. "Nationally, it's the opposite," he said. "If you look at the numbers from Oregon, Washington, Kentucky, Maryland: most states are seeing the proportion of their Medicaid expansion to be 90 or 95 percent of their total enrollment."

Larger enrollments in other states have been driven by expanded eligibility for Medicaid, but Counihan said Connecticut has been "highly progressive" in this regard, first expanding its Medicaid eligibility in in 2010. That means fewer people eligible to sign up for Medicaid now. "When we look at the market, to use a business term, for Medicaid expansion, it's less than 30,000 people," Counihan said.

Just last week, Access Health CT opened its first walk-in storefront in downtown New Britain to enroll people in both Medicaid and private insurance plans. Enrollment in small business plans has been smaller than the exchange expected, with about 300 to 400 employees signed up so far.

The marketplace is opening a small business center in Stamford to boost enrollment.