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April 16, 2020

Access Health adds 4,425 new customers in COVID-19 special enrollment period

Photo | CT Mirror DSS has hired over 100 new staff members to help with Medicaid unwinding. The agency is also ramping up the number of contracted staff to support its shared operations with Access Health CT, including call centers and data entry.

After a nearly month-long special enrollment period spurred by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut’s Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange has enrolled 4,425 new customers, many of whom were uninsured or have lost their jobs in the economic shutdown.

Access Health CT is still accepting new enrollments through Friday.

Access Health’s board of directors, which convened by phone Thursday morning, said 1,817 of the new customers that signed up between March 19 and April 10 were previously uninsured. 

The exchange also gained 2,608 additional customers during the month-long extension who were facing qualifying life events, such as change or loss of a job. CEO James Michel said rapidly rising unemployment claims related to COVID-19 played a role in that volume. Qualifying events aren’t solely coronavirus-related, as they can also include having a baby, getting married or moving.

The boost for Access Health comes after its regular open enrollment period, which ended in mid-January, saw a loss of more than 3,200 customers, a nearly 3% drop from 2019, to

The gain of 4,425 new customers over the past month was partially offset by the loss of 3,608 other customers through attrition, resulting in a net gain of 817 customers, according to information reviewed at Thursday’s board meeting.

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