Access Health CT will open an enrollment center in Norwich

Norwich — Access Health CT, Connecticut's individual health insurance exchange, plans to open 10 new centers where people can enroll for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, including a new center in Norwich.

The centers in Bridgeport, Danbury, East Hartford, Hartford, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, Norwich, Stamford and Waterbury are scheduled to open Nov. 1, the first day of the open enrollment period for 2018 Access Health CT coverage.

The existing Access Health CT enrollment centers in New Haven and New Britain will be relocated, Access Health CT CEO Jim Wadleigh said in a news release Tuesday.

"We are exactly 50 days away from the beginning of open enrollment and with a shorter timeframe this year, we want to explore the best and most efficient ways to help CT residents,” Wadleigh said. “The goal is to have in-person help available to anyone who needs it.

The 10 locations will offer free help and will add to assistance provided at field offices and by the enrollment specialists who have been certified across the state.

The locations within the 10 new cities have not been finalized, according to the announcement, though Andrea Ravitz, Access Health CT's marketing and sales director, said the exchange is considering opening the centers at easily accessible places like community health centers, public libraries and YMCA chapters.

Access Health CT is planning at least four enrollment fairs during the open enrollment period in other locations.

The announcement comes during a period of uncertainty for Access Health CT.

The two insurers providing insurance via the exchange have until Friday to decide whether to keep selling plans through the individual marketplace next year, The Connecticut Mirror reported. Access Health CT has given ConnectiCare and Anthem several extensions to make the decision amid uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act in Washington, D.C.

Insurers are closely watching whether President Donald Trump will end federally funded cost-sharing subsidies for copays and deductibles under the Affordable Care Act, as well as an expected decision from the state Insurance Department on their requests for rate increases next year, The Connecticut Mirror reported last month.

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