Enrollment in health insurance might be brisk for 2021, but it's hard to tell because in-person enrollment is by appointment and most of what’s been happening with Access Health CT has been done online.
“As you get older it’s certainly something you need more. I’ve been a little headstrong about that for a long time and put it off, but certainly with everything going on it’s hard to deny the necessity of it these days,” said Ryan Weik, of Goshen.
Weik is purchasing health insurance for the first time through Access Health CT, which is Connecticut’s health insurance exchange. There are 17 plans offered on the exchange by two carriers: Anthem Health and Connecticare.
“I’m very relieved that with everything going on that I can take care of that now,” Weik said.
Weik is 35 now but hasn’t had insurance since he left his parents plan at 27.
“I became self-employed and I was outside of the window to be able to sign up previously,” he said.
“What we’re seeing is a lot of traffic online. A lot of calls coming to our call center,” said Andrea Ravitz, chief marketing officer for Access Health CT.
Connecticare, which is one of the two carriers on the exchange, has its own enrollment locations. Foot traffic at the center in Manchester is also by appointment and it has been steady.
“I think in the last year we’ve learned how important it is to have health care,” Laurie Blier, head of ConnectiCare’s enrollment centers, said.
Connecticare is also selling Medicare plans and enrollment in those ends on Dec. 7. Medicare is the primary insurance program for residents 65 years and older.
“It’s one of those things like all insurances. You pay for it and you hope you never need it,” said Bill Green Jr., of Vernon.
But for many, signing up after Dec. 15 won’t be an option unless they experience a qualifying life event such as losing their job or getting a divorce.
“The annual open enrollment period is ending on Dec. 15 so you have two weeks to get yourself and your family covered for a coverage that will start on Jan. 1, 2021,” Ravitz said.
Ravitz expects the demographics of the people purchasing insurance this year might be different.
“I think even the composition of the membership is going to really be different from what we’ve seen for the past seven years,” Ravitz said.