Connecticut to train 100 health insurance brokers to reduce uninsured population

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In an effort to reduce the number of uninsured residents in three of Connecticut’s largest cities, officials on Wednesday announced plans to train up to 100 licensed health insurance brokers to enroll people covered by the health insurance market. state health insurance.

The initiative, called Broker Academy, was announced by Governor Ned Lamont and officials from Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance marketplace, during a virtual press conference Wednesday.

The academy will begin classes on June 1 with classes of students from Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford, officials said.


“We’ve learned the hard way, I think over the last two years, what disparities mean and what it means when you don’t have health insurance,” Lamont said. “What it means if you don’t have access to a test or a vaccine in this time of COVID, and it’s not just putting you at risk, it’s putting your community at risk.”

Connecticut has one of the highest health care coverage rates in the country, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The association’s 2020 report found that 4.8% of Connecticut residents lacked health insurance, the 10th lowest of any state.

The cities targeted by the Broker Academy, however, lag the rest of the state in health care coverage, according to James Michel, CEO of Access Health CT. Residents of these cities are more likely to have lower incomes, he said, with less access to health care through employer-sponsored insurance.

The Broker Academy’s goal, Michel said, was to increase the number of licensed insurance brokers working in those cities to enroll people through the public healthcare exchange.

“Despite Connecticut’s high wealth ranking, there are substantial disparities in health status and health care delivery for low-income Connecticut residents, especially in communities of color,” said Michael. “By engaging members of this community to become brokers, Access Health Connecticut can build trust by meeting community members where they are, and at the same time create economic advantage in these areas.”

The cost of the training program is estimated to be around $230,000, Michel said, which will be paid for by Access Health CT with the help of outside grants. Candidates accepted into the Broker Academy will not have to pay for their training.

The first class of students should be cleared by the end of July before entering a three-month apprenticeship program with an experienced broker, according to Tammy Hendricks, director of health equity and outreach for Access Health CT.

The training will end completely at the start of the next open registration period on Nov. 1, Hendricks said. Brokers will be paid by commission for each person they sign up through the exchange.

Currently, 400 brokers are licensed to sell insurance in the state health insurance market.

Two insurance companies – Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and ConnectiCare – offer plans through the exchange. However, Michel said that once brokers are allowed to sell insurance in the marketplace, they must offer plans through both insurers.

“The advice they give will be that which is in the best interests of their clients,” Michel said. “It’s their fiduciary responsibility and it’s part of their training.”

Residents earning below a certain income are eligible for grants through the Access Health CT marketplace.

This amount was initially set at 400% of the federal poverty level, but was adjusted as part of the US bailout signed by President Joe Biden.

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