NEW BRITAIN – The state health insurance company is warning residents that millions of dollars in financial aid could be lost if the American Rescue Plan Act were to expire, which is expected at the end of the year .
Access Health CT announced that if increased financial assistance from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expires, more than 65,000 Access Health CT enrollees would be affected. In a statement released last week, the company said Connecticut residents would be negatively affected by reduced or eliminated financial assistance for health insurance, which would total $178 million per year, or $14.8 million per year. months, of assistance.
James Michel, chief executive of Access Health CT, said the assistance residents receive through ARPA will end unless enhanced premium tax credits continue beyond 2022 through of federal legislation.
“Ending the increase in financial assistance would have a significant impact on Connecticut residents,” Michel said, “including progress made to address health disparities. The American Rescue Plan Act makes more affordable and accessible health insurance coverage, significantly reducing the impact of social determinants of health.
ARPA, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, made health insurance coverage more affordable and accessible to residents by reducing monthly payments (premiums) or eliminating them altogether. The law provided financial assistance to people with somewhat higher incomes who historically did not qualify or faced high premiums. Access Health CT said enrollees have selected health insurance plans that reduce out-of-pocket expenses and provide better access to care for this plan year.
The company said about 21,000 enrollees would lose their financial aid entirely, if ARPA is not extended, 21,000 enrollees would. According to Access Health CT, the insurance company would pay an additional $220 per month, or $2,650 per year, in premiums for the average Connecticut household enrolled through the company. The company has expressed concern that if residents cannot qualify for premium assistance from ARPA, they could opt out of insurance or choose plans with higher “cost-sharing charges.” The AHCT said eligible residents have at least one health insurance plan that costs no more than 8.5% of their income.
Open registration through Access Health CT ended on January 12, 2022. However, residents may still be able to register through a special registration period. Residents with questions regarding eligibility can contact the helpline at 1-855-805-4325, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or visit accesshealthct.com and speak with someone via the option live chat.