ICYMI: ‘Free, Low-Cost Health Insurance’ Available Under Current Law

HARTFORD, Conn. – As some politicians discuss creating unaffordable new government-controlled health insurance systems, CT News Junkie reports that Connecticut residents are able to benefit from access to affordable coverage options under current law, including thousands who are eligible for free or low-cost health plans but have not yet enrolled.

The open enrollment period for the state’s health insurance exchange began this week. While those below certain income thresholds qualify for reduced cost insurance, subsidies this year were boosted by the American Rescue Plan Act – expanding eligibility for lower-cost coverage to even more residents. What’s more – tens of thousands of Connecticut residents qualify for free coverage through Covered Connecticut. CT News Junkie reports:

For a slice of the population who also qualify for a state assistance plan called Covered Connecticut, the combination of benefits pays for the coverage completely, meaning premiums, copays, and deductibles are all free. An estimated 40,000 Connecticut residents qualify for the free coverage. As of Monday, only 703 had enrolled, according to a spokesperson for Access Health CT.

Access Health CEO James Michel said the state’s exchange expects the number of Covered Connecticut enrollees to jump after the current enrollment period, as more residents learn that they qualify for the program. Residents who may not qualify for free coverage could still qualify for substantial savings. The article continues:

Even those who do not meet the requirements for the Covered Connecticut program may find they qualify for more extensive savings than they would have guessed, Michel said. Many customers who did not meet the threshold for assistance in prior years may now be entitled to subsidies. The American Rescue Plan waived a policy that had capped subsidies at 400% of the federal poverty level.

“If you’re not sure, apply anyway. Most people are shocked at how affordable their insurance becomes,” Michel said. “People just assume that they’re not going to qualify. I assure you, if you are within certain income levels, put it in. It may cost you 20, 30 minutes of your time but you may qualify for some heavy subsidies.”

The CT News Junkie report underscores how private plans and public programs are working to expand access to affordable, high-quality coverage and care.

It’s no wonder that the vast majority of voters prefer for lawmakers to improve what’s working in health care rather than start over. A recent poll conducted by Locust Street Group shows that voters’ preference for current coverage options over new government health insurance systems is growing, as greater majorities of Americans say they would prefer to keep their current coverage rather than purchase the public option.