HARTFORD — With the clock ticking, Access Health CT’s latest statistics show they are closing in on last year’s numbers.
As of Friday afternoon there are now 109,126 Connecticut residents enrolled in insurance plans through the exchange. The deadline for enrolling was extended to Jan. 15.
Last year 114,000 Connecticut residents enrolled in plans sold on the exchange.
The deadline for Connecticut residents to enroll was originally Dec. 15, but it was extended. Coverage starts Feb. 1 for anyone who enrolled in a plan after Dec. 15.
On Friday, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy was in Hartford where he was encouraging those who haven’t signed up yet to enroll.
“We’ve only got a couple days to get the message out,” Murphy said at an unrelated event earlier in the day in New Haven before heading to Hartford. “I’m going to Hartford to try and get the word out.”
Access Health CT has spent about $4 million in its marketing efforts this year, which is similar to amounts they’ve spent in past years.
Consumers had an additional month to choose plans as they experience bigger increases in monthly premiums even though the increases approved by insurance regulators were lower.
Officials and politicians have been thrown a curveball this year by a Texas judge’s ruling late last year that threw out the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
The judge agreed with a group of 20 Republican attorneys general who felt a change in tax law last year that eliminated the penalty for not having health insurance invalidated the entire law.
Former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, whose administration oversaw implementation of the ACA, said the decision “defies logic and puts health coverage for millions of people and tens of thousands of Connecticut residents at risk.”
He said if this decision is allowed to stand people with pre-existing conditions will once again be denied coverage when they get sick.
The White House has said they expect the judge’s ruling to be appealed to the Supreme Court and in the meantime the law remains in place.
Connecticut, along with other states, have filed an appeal.
Access Health CT has worked hard to let Connecticut residents know that the Texas ruling does not affect their ability to sign up for and use 2019 health insurance plans through Access Health CT.
“Access Health CT is the official marketplace under the Affordable Care Act in Connecticut and we are committed to upholding the ACA and the support it provides to the residents of our state,” CEO James Michel, has said. “We will not let this news get in the way of fulfilling our mission to reduce the rate of the uninsured and help Connecticut residents get health insurance coverage for them and their families.”
Murphy said part of his message in Hartford on Friday would be to reiterated that Access Health and the Affordable Care Act are alive and well in Connecticut.
“We have to beat back Trump’s sabotage campaign,” Murphy said.