COVID-related health plans in CT drive insurance requests higher

COVID-19 and a slate of creative new state health plans are driving big increases in requests for health insurance in Connecticut. Since the pandemic began on March 12, requests to Connecticut 2-1-1 for health insurance are up 48% compared to the same dates in 2019. The increase follows a series of COVID-related health insurance initiatives in the state. Early in the pandemic, Connecticut’s public insurance marketplace, Access Health, opened a special enrollment period for residents of the state that had lost their job and health insurance. In May, the state introduced two COVID-related Medicaid plans, one for the uninsured and another for non-citizens. 2-1-1 helped get the word out about these opportunities, used its Benefits Navigator service to help identify those who qualify, and fielded a large number of web requests, likely driven by links to 2-1-1 on state Medicaid websites. The top chart shows the number of daily requests to CT 2-1-1 for health insurance in 2020 (red line) compared to 2019 (orange line). The bottom chart shows that the year-over-year differences were largely driven by web requests. Analyses examined 12,308 health insurance requests received in 2019 and 18,042 received in 2020, from January 1 to October 5, in both years. Average daily requests represent a 7-day moving average calculated using current and six prior days.

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