Inside the Access Health CT Call Center - NBC Connecticut
Health Care Connection

Health Care Connection

A Wealth of Information about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Care Changes Ahead

Inside the Access Health CT Call Center



    Access Health shows off its new call center that will help people enroll for health insurance under the affordable care act. The call center goes live in three weeks. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013)

    On the 21st floor of a downtown Hartford office building you will find the nerve center for Connecticut's health exchange.

    Access Health CT's call center is now up and running. There are 45 newly trained employees who are already taking calls from people about the new health care law. There are another 30 employees at a similar call center in Manhattan.

    "This is a tough process that people are going to go through," Dave Lynch, the manager of the call center, said. "It's certainly not like making an airline reservation."

    Access Health is trying to make it as easy as possible. They are the quasi-state agency in charge of running the health exchange. Starting Oct. 1, Access Health CT will be where people can go to sign up for a variety of insurance plans as part of the Affordable Care Act.

    Two weeks ago, the call center went live and currently operators are just fielding questions. It is operated by Maximus which has experience running centers around the country.

    On Monday, they received 112 calls and each call lasted an average of 7 to 8 minutes.

    "The big questions are: Can I afford it? How much is it going to cost? Are my doctors covered?" Lynch said.

    Starting in October, the customer service specialists will be signing people up and troubleshooting.

    The employees recently completed a training course to get caught up on the law.

    "They come in here and we give them an overview of the Affordable Care Act and we start to go into the unique pieces of Connecticut and then we go through a number of scenarios," said Ben Hunnicutt Jr., the project manager.

    The workers are running through every scenario they can think of so that when real issues start popping up next month, they'll be ready.

    "What we try to do is give people as many opportunities as possible to touch the information," Hunnicutt Jr. said.

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