The most effected group of customers from HealthyCT shutting down in Connecticut is business owners. They make up 27,000 of the more than 40,000 policyholders who have to find new plans.
One of those policyholders is Lisa Antonecchia, an events planner who works out of her Hamden office.
She said the news came as a shock in the middle of her busiest time of the year.
"At first I will say I panicked but then I got a little almost angry and then a little bit more step and thought, OK, I have more decisions that I have to make that I wasn’t anticipating," Antonecchia said.
HealthyCT can’t take on new customers by order of the Connecticut Department of Insurance but it was writing policies up until July 1 of this year.
All small group policies will remain in effect until the end of June 2017, but individuals will have to find new plans in order to be covered on January 1, 2017.
Antonecchia's options are varied but they may not fit her existing budget. She’s been paying roughly $400 per month for her premium for the past three years for HealthyCT.
There’s one comparable plan on Access Health CT, the state’s online health insurance marketplace, from Anthem. Anthem also has plans for sale off the marketplace, in addition to several other providers that include Harvard Pilgrim and Connecticare.
Many small business owners will work with insurance brokers who will help them lay out their options. That’s what Antonecchia is planning to do.
"I’ve already reached out to the gentleman I’ve used for my insurance provider. I’ve already said to him, 'I need you to tell me what’s going on. I don’t have time to do this homework.' I need somebody to instruct as to what will be the next best step," Antonecchia said.
She had plans to expand her business this year into a new, larger office, but now is worried about what the insurance change will mean for her bottom line.
"Small business owners, every penny is accounted for and if I need to now start putting two times or even three times into what I’m paying for my health insurance, that’s going to impact every decision I make going forward."