Tag Archive | "Access Health CT"

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Access CT to Hold Community Chats, Open Enrollment


HARTFORD —  Access Health CT  recently announced it is urging community organizations and leaders to join them for a series of Community Chats throughout the month of January in preparation for the end of the Open Enrollment period.

AHCT Staff will provide an overview of the accomplishments of Connecticut’s insurance exchange program and lead a discussion on ways AHCT can help bring quality, affordable healthcare to more residents in their communities.

The first of this series will be held in the community of Hartford on Jan. 5, 2016 from 6:00 p.mm – 7:30 p.m. at the Phillips Metropolitan CME Church.

“Community Chats offer a direct line of communication to the state’s healthcare exchange-and another opportunity to get feedback on the enrollment process,” said Lt. Governor Wyman. “As we approach the end of the Open Enrollment period, educating consumers will be the key to reducing barriers to care, bolstering enrollment, and ultimately creating healthier communities.”

Details for all upcoming Community Chat events are listed below:

Hartford North End Community Chat
January 5, 2016
6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Phillips Metropolitan CME Church, Banquet Hall
2550 Main Street Hartford, CT
Bridgeport Community Chat
January 7, 2016
6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Burroughs-Saden Library, 3rd Floor Community Room
925 Broad Street Bridgeport, CT
Hartford South End Community Chat
January 13, 2016
6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
St. Augustine’s Parish
10 Campfield Avenue Hartford, CT
Waterbury Community Chat
January 21, 2016
6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Silas Bronson Library
267 Grand Street Waterbury, CT
Click here<http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ebzhdb6ibb153372&llr=5k5s4ckab> to register for this event.

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CT Healthcare Exchange Launches App


HARTFORD– After what it deemed a successful initial enrollment period, Access Health CT  has launched the nation’s first mobile application for a state health care exchange.

Officials said this mobile app is “another way for consumers to connect and enroll” in the affordable healthcare. It also aims to provide consumers with a new, easy way to compare health care coverage options access information and enroll in quality, affordable plans. The free application offers nearly all the functionality of the website, in an easy-to-use mobile format.

The app was designed for the most commonly used mobile platforms, including iPhone and Android devices. It is currently available for free from the Apple iTunes App Store for iPhone operating iOS 6 or later, and will be available for download beginning on June 6 from theGoogle Play Store for Android devices running Android 2.3 or later.

During the 2014 open enrollment period, 25 percent of consumers accessed our website from a mobile device, officials said. This app “will make it much easier for consumers to compare and shop on-the-go and will be another tool for our residents, brokers and outreach workers to assist people in their communities.”

Additionally, the app allows consumers to browse anonymously, determine potential eligibility for financial assistance, and view plan information, including all of the plan details and documents that are available on the website.

Until open enrollment begins for 2015, residents will only be able to shop for coverage through Access Health CT under special circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, birth, adoption or loss of insurance coverage from an employer and Medicaid enrollment which is open all year.

For more information about special enrollment, please visit www.accesshealthct.com.

 

 

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Don’t Believe the Hype Against Obamacare; Sign Up for Insurance


If you are uninsured and live in the Greater Hartford area, all roads should lead to Community Health Services on Albany Avenue to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.

Don’t believe the hype against so-called Obamacare. That’s because your insurance premium could be less than $100. And if you are eligible for Medicaid, your insurance premium could definitely be $0.

editorialbannerthumbAt this point, responsible individuals would have done research and found out the facts for themselves before they let people give them all kinds of cock and bull stories. And check this out: The people who are discouraging, or sabotaging other people’s effort to sign up, have insurance themselves. Yes, people. They have insurance.

If you want to be covered by health insurance this year, the deadline to sign up is March 31. Appointments are available for next week. If you miss this deadline, you have to wait until November to sign up for the following year. But for now, any individual could try the service for one year and judge for herself whether there are drawbacks to being on this particular insurance. Duh!

For many, it takes less than 30 minutes, with the help of a staff person, to sign up. And it’s best to go before crunch time because even now the state’s website, accesshealthct.com, occasionally malfunctions. And CHS workers and others have to call in to AccessHealthCT to sort out kinks in the system.

To date, more than 5 million people across the nation have enrolled.  And in Connecticut, more than 160,000 have enrolled, surpassing the state’s targeted goal of 100,000.  We can only think more people are not enrolled because anemic strategies have been employed to reach the people who need the insurance the most.

That’s unfortunate.

But with 10 days left to go, uninsured people should embrace the unknown and sign up today. With uncertainty, it is indeed better to be safe than sorry. And as we have seen on numerous occasions, ignorance coupled with an unexpected medical condition, can be extremely expensive.

Get to it.

 

 

 

 

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Access Health CT’s Appeal Process for Frustrated Residents Should Be Less Painful


By Ann-Marie Adams

Access Health CT, Connecticut’s official health insurance marketplace, reported a single-day record number of individuals applied for coverage by midnight on Dec. 23: more than 6,700. This figure, officials of the state agency boasted, puts the total number enrolled from Oct. 1 to Dec. 23 at about 62,000.

Impressive.

But people whose applications were not processed, or who had been waiting on the phone for more than 90 minutes, are not impressed.

Almost 300,000 Connecticut residents do not have health insurance.  In Hartford County alone, 98,000 people lack coverage. Of that amount,  34,000 are in Hartford. Most of the uninsured in the capital city and the state are people of color and would have surely benefited from the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. It’s the first nationwide health reform since President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society effort with Medicare in 1965.

Just think. If the state’s quasi-nonprofit agency had planned a more effective and inclusive enrollment period to meet the demand, many more people would have signed up, so that they could have had comprehensive health insurance effective Jan. 1.

Dr_AnnMarie_AdamsFor the thousands of people who did not get to enroll, hearing that they can continue to enroll up to March 31 without a tax penalty does not soothe the pain of learning they would have to wait another 30 days from enrollment for insurance to kick in, especially if they have a pre-existing need for insurance.  All they have to look forward to at this point is more snafus or bureaucratic mazes to navigate.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionConsider this: For one individual, enrolling online was a chore that failed. On Dec. 3, she filled out an application and submitted it through Access CT’s portal. By Dec. 23, she had yet to receive confirmation that her application was processed. She also tried to log in, but was kicked off the site. So at about 4 p.m., she called the 800 numbers listed on Dec. 23. She received a recording saying that she should leave her number and someone would return her call the next business day.

This woman tried again several times until her last call at 10:06 p.m. — hoping to get someone on the phone. After waiting for about 30 minutes, someone answered and asked her name and age then put her on hold for 90 minutes. At 10 minutes before midnight, another agent came on the line and said that it was too late to enroll her.

It was a curious experience that demands answers: was the woman put on hold that long because she was over 40? Was Access CT screening calls so they could sign up mostly customers under 40? Why was there a recording throughout most of the day on Dec. 23, saying customers should call back the next day? How many people of color were signed up? If the state doesn’t have that number as reported earlier, then can we know why? And most importantly, how many of the 34,000 uninsured people in Hartford were signed up?

There were other reported issues. But the main concern now is whether those individuals who were put on hold for waits lasting about an hour or who were locked out of the site, would be considered enrolled.

Although there are many assisters and navigators who have worked hard during the last several months, The Hartford Guardian has witnessed much bumbling during the enrollment period here. In fact, there were numerous warnings, one from Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra himselfsaying that “if you don’t market it and recruit people in an appropriate place, you could still end up with a lot of uninsured.” And that is the case — because of the incompetence and arrogance of those who guided the enrollment campaign.

There is also clearly conflict of interest and cronyism involved in how resources and marketing efforts were distributed, especially in Hartford. And these strategies and conflicts impacted the number of people and which segments of the population got enrolled on the exchange.

For instance, The Guardian couldn’t help but notice that the so-called Navigator for the city of Hartford was the Hispanic Health Council, an agency whose founding member is Mayor Segarra. We also couldn’t help but notice that Juan Figueroa, who was president of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, is now Segarra’s acting chief of staff. Figueroa also had a hand in crafting strategies leading up to the state’s health reform push that began in January 2013. And he sits on the board of director for a news outlet charged with being the official organ of everything positive about Access Health CT.

We also noticed that resources were directed to community papers, which quietly ignored the fact that there was reportedly only one person in the North End to cover half that populous section. And that most of the marketing efforts in the city targeted the South End of Hartford, just one of the city’s 17 neighborhoods.

We are happy to see that Access Health CT has taken steps to correct its errors and is now “actively reaching out” to those people who were on hold Dec. 23. These frustrated applicants should indeed now be considered eligible for coverage effective Jan. 1.

However, appeal process in place for others should also take into account the insufficient recruitment efforts made in some city neighborhoods, which were seemingly overlooked because of sub-par marketing strategies and outreach.

An we hope the appeal process won’t be as painful as it was waiting online for 90 minutes without a positive outcome.

Individuals interested in filling an appeal should either call 855-805-4325 or mail their appeal to Access Health CT Appeals, P.O. Box  # 670, Manchester, CT 06045-0670. 

Dr. Ann-Marie Adams is founder and editor of The Hartford Guardian. Follow her on twitter.

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Access HealthCT to Debut Spanish Infomercials


HARTFORD — Access Health CT will premiere an innovative television series that brings the benefits of Health Care Reform directly to the uninsured and underinsured Latino populations of Connecticut.

Courtesy of Univision, AcessHealthCT

Courtesy of Univision, AcessHealthCT

The program, MERCADO DE SALUD (www.MercadoDeSaludCT.com), is a long-form edutainment series of shows, segments and capsules and will debut Sept.  7 at 11 a.m. on Univision 18 Hartford and will air through March 2014. The driving mission behind MERCADO DE SALUD is to engage, entertain and educate the Latino community of Connecticut about enrolling in quality, affordable health insurance plans through Access Health CT, the state’s official health insurance marketplace.

“A staggering 344,000 people are uninsured in Connecticut and approximately 25 percent are from our Latino community,” said Access Health CT CEO, Kevin Counihan. “To help reverse that statistic, we created MERCADO DE SALUD, a culturally relevant TV series that informs the community about how to gain access to the coverage they need. MERCADO DE SALUD provides the necessary knowledge and tools to engage and empower Latinos for a healthier tomorrow.”

The television segments are only one component of a robust state-wide marketing and outreach campaign. The campaign includes high-impact, high-visibility vehicles such as broadcast, cable, radio and print, plus community outreach via fairs, festivals, neighborhood canvassing, storefront locations and in-person Assisters – all with the goal of educating, engaging and enrolling the uninsured of Connecticut.

MERCADO DE SALUD television segments will provide essential details about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and what it means for Connecticut’s Latino community. The program features experts who will provide details about how the new law impacts individuals, families and small businesses.  MERCADO DE SALUD will be co-hosted by Ana Alfaro, the beloved and well-known public advocate and host of “El Show de Analeh.”

“As a trusted broadcast partner to the Latino viewers, Univision 18 Hartford is proud to be a part of this unprecedented initiative to bring engaging educational content to the Latino community,” said Sulma Avenancio, General Manager for WUVN.  “Access Health CT’s innovative approach marks a new milestone in our mission to offer Latinos culturally relevant local content that makes a difference in their lives.”

Access Health CT will support the series with a comprehensive communications and outreach plan that includes a toll-free number for viewer questions and enrollment, a web page with show schedules and clips, online banners, text and mobile blasts, and public relations outreach.

For more information visit:  www.MercadoDeSaludCT.com

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