It's been a wave of stress for some 7,000 Affordable Care Act customers in Connecticut lately, who have found out the hard way that they don't have coverage.
"If I'm at the doctor – especially if I'm there for a visit because I'm sick – and all of a sudden I find out I don't have health care coverage, it's a very stressful time," Access Health CT Chief Executive Officer Jim Wadleigh said Wednesday, commiserating with those affected.
The problem, he says, is many people missed the 90-day window to prove citizenship and income after open enrollment expired at the end of February.
"So an example could be a pay stub; an example could be a passport, your driver's license," Wadleigh explained. "They are at risk of losing their health care coverage, and that's really the message that we have gone out with over the last few days."
Wadleigh says the lapses have come despite Access Health sending out as many as five notices to customers.
"And what we are seeing is, one of the questions we asked are, 'Do you open your mail from Access Health?' and a very large percentage of them do not," he said.
Despite months passing since the deadline, Access Health is making automated callouts to tardy customers and hiring extra staff to clear up the backlog. The agency is also working with the Department of Social Services to enhance and streamline communication.
Customers are being allowed the chance to correct the problem, but for a very limited time, and on a case-by-case basis.
"A customer is not out of luck," said Wadleigh. "They can call us, they can send their information in, and we will work with the carriers to get them reinstated."
To reach Access Health CT for assistance or information, call 855-805-4325.