GROTON, Conn. (WTNH)– Open enrollment for Access Health CT is scheduled to end in two weeks and leaders in eastern Connecticut are urging residents without insurance to sign up.
The Access Health CT office in Groton has been busy ever since open enrollment began Nov. 1. But people started coming in even before then.
“Over the past year we’ve lost 12,000 jobs in the Norwich-New London area,” said Sen. Cathy Osten, (D) Sprague. “That’s a nearly ten percent drop in employment.”
Losing a job often means losing healthcare coverage.
“Having a catastrophic medical event is the quickest way to become poor in the United States of America,” said Lee-Ann Gomes, Director of Norwich Human Services.
Gomes has seen a 300 percent increase in people seeking assistance at Norwich Human Services this year. She along with other city and state leaders met outside St. Vincent de Paul Place in Norwich.
“Since COVID, we signed up 2,000 new clients,” said Jill Corbin, Ex. Dir. of St. Vincent de Paul Place.
They reminded residents open enrollment ends in two weeks for Access Health CT, which was established as a local arm of the Affordable Care Act.
“Since 2013 we have enrolled over one million residents on an annual basis and 90 percent of them get financial help or qualify for low cost or free health insurance coverage,” said James Michel, CEO of Access Health CT.
People can get quotes and sign up online or on the phone. They can also meet with a customer service representative at locations in Groton, Stamford, Bridgeport, New Haven, New Britain, and Hartford.
If they want to talk to someone in-person they have to go online or call Access Health CT at 1-855-909-2428 and make an appointment at one of the six locations.
“If we’ve learned anything at all from this pandemic is how critical health insurance is to us and to our families,” said Michel.
The Dec. 15 deadline for open enrollment may be extended but people can sign up for the insurance anytime if they have a qualifying event like losing their job.