Access Health Enrollments Ahead of Schedule

By:  Max Reiss
NBC Connecticut

Officials with Access Health CT said sign-ups are ahead of schedule in the week after open enrollment began for the second time.

Jason Madrak, chief marketing officer of the state's health care exchange, described "a lot of pent-up interest" and said "people are really coming to us right out of the gate.”

Overall, more than 11,000 people signed up for coverage on Connecticut’s health care marketplace.

The state aims to enroll 70,000 people by the end of the open enrollment period on Feb. 15, and officials said they're pleased with the numbers so far.

“Keep in mind that this a very short cycle and we only have a very short period, 90 days and we do have some lower volume holiday weeks that come into play," Madrak said.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who toured a community health center in Bridgeport, said the news that Connecticut is still leading the way is a great way to show other states how they can be successful.

“The news is good but it will only get better if we can cut our uninsured number down to two or three percent,” Murphy said. “That would be a huge achievement during this period of open enrollment.”

The Access Health CT website has experienced some minor glitches.

According to Madrak, an internal web-based system did not function properly for a short time. As a result of the delays, some people called Access Health call centers and waited for longer-than-expected periods of time.

“The problem has been resolved,” Madrak said. “People should get through cleanly and have that positive enrollment experience.”

Some delays were also reported as a result of consumers not remembering their log-in information. Madrak explained that even though password resets could be completed online, some people probably hadn’t used the information since last year when they initially enrolled.

While Access Health is ahead of schedule, Madrak said officials are hoping to keep up the momentum through the winter months.

“It’d be nice to exceed but I think we’re going to keep our fingers crossed on that,” Madrak said.