Private Insurer Struggles to Keep Up With Wave of Health Care Enrollments

Jan 10, 2014

Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said Anthem has faced "some challenges" making sure billing statements and proof of insurance is getting to new enrollees in a timely fashion.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The head of the state's insurance marketplace said his number one priority right now is making sure people who signed up for health care coverage can get it. So far, about 40,000 Connecticut residents have enrolled in private insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said that number rapidly growing.

"We exceeded our six month goal three months ahead of time," Counihan said. "This has represented some challenges to some of the plans with respect to getting premium statements out and ID cards out." As of early January, roughly two-thirds of  the enrollment in private health care plans has been with Anthem, but only about eight percent of those who signed up for insurance coverage on January 1 had paid their first month's premium.

People have complained about delays getting billing statements or proof of insurance. Counihan said his office is working to change that. "The number one job here is making sure that members get their cards," he said, "that the premium payment is facilitated, and that they can access care." He added that his office will send out blast emails to new enrollees educating them about the easiest ways to make premium payments. "This is why we're here," he said. "We know that there are challenges out there. We feel for the members. We understand that this is very complex, particularly if people are newly-insured. They're not used to how the system works." 

Overall, about 76,000 residents have signed up for health insurance in Connecticut, either through private health plans, or the state's low-income Medicaid program.