An Obamacare Primer for Connecticut
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I have health insurance. How will this affect me?
Access Health CT estimates that 72 percent of Connecticut residents will be eligible for federal tax subsidies—the amount will vary for each individual. You’re eligible if you earn up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level: $46,000 annual income for an individual, $68,000 for a couple and $92,400 for a family of four. A recently released study by the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzing health care estimates that 48 percent of Americans who purchase individual insurance would be eligible for subsidies at an average of $5,548 per year.
How is Connecticut’s approach different than other states?
The Affordable Care Act allows states to take control of the process of opening health-insurance coverage to all, or to do nothing and let the federal government step in. Connecticut is one of 14 states plus the District of Columbia that have chosen to set up their own state health insurance exchange. Eight states are launching a hybrid where a portion is run by the state and the rest by the federal government, and 28 states are letting the federal government handle it.
Connecticut is unique because it’s offering insurance options for individuals and businesses through the same exchange. Some states have separate programs for individuals and businesses.
Despite the delay for small busineses, Connecticut is pressing forward with the enrollment portion of the exchange. Again, there will be no penalties for companies that don’t provide health care for employees until that part of the mandate takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.
Connecticut is also outsourcing management of the exchange to a third-party vendor called bswift.
How will this affect me if I’m on the state’s insurance program? If I’m a state employee? If I’m a student in Connecticut?
There is no change for residents who are on the Medicare, Medicaid, Husky or CHIP programs. Medicaid is being expanded as part of the new law, and it’s estimated an additional 55,000 to 75,000 Connecticut residents will be eligible.
There are no changes to insurance programs for state employees.
For students, the Affordable Care Act allows individuals to remain on their parent’s health insurance plan up until the age of 26. Students can also purchase insurance plans through their university or college. The only change is that Access Health CT will give students another option. If they don’t purchase through school, and aren’t on their parent’s health insurance plan, they may qualify for state aid or can purchase health insurance through Access Health CT.
To see this infographic in full size, click here.