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Access Health says ConnectiCare is leaving state’s healthcare exchange


HARTFORD–Another health insurer in the state is leaving the public exchange.

On Friday, the state received a letter from ConnectiCare saying they were “terminating their agreement and exiting the state’s healthcare exchange.”

The Connecticut Insurance Department is reviewing the letter, according to a statement from Access Health.

Access Health CT’s number one priority has always been and continues to be our customers. We are a national leader in healthcare because we are 100 percent committed to ensuring that Connecticut residents have access to affordable, high quality healthcare. ConnectiCare’s decision is certainly a challenge, but AHCT will continue to adapt to the changing healthcare market with an eye on ensuring our consumers the best options.

FOX 61 reached out to ConnectiCare earlier on Monday, before Access Health announced the departure, and this was the response:

ConnectiCare is still actively working to stay on the exchange. We will share updates ad they become available.

Later in the day, but still before the announcement, we got a second statement from CEO and President Michael Wise:

ConnectiCare is actively working to stay on Access Health CT.  We have asked Access Health CT to extend their deadline so we can continue to work together to ensure that the over 50,000 Connecticut citizens we serve can keep their health plan.

Access Health released a statement on Friday after ConnectiCare filed a lawsuit against the state threatening to leave the exchange. CEO Jim Wadleigh said in a statement on Friday:

While we don’t comment on lawsuits, I will say that if ConnectiCare does decide to leave the exchange we’ll adapt to that new landscape.

While it’s true that competition benefits the consumer, in this case there could potentially be a silver lining for the residents of Connecticut.  Anthem could create a more diversified risk pool which could help them control and help stabilize the cost of the various policies it offers to customers throughout the state.

The Affordable Care Act represents one of the biggest social policy changes of our lifetime.  The implementation of this policy requires everyone, including us to adapt – especially early on – to the changing landscape, and to make sure that we meet the challenges the law presents to us in a way that provides the most consumer-friendly experience possible.  That’s how we view this development: it’s a challenge.  And we will meet it.

Earlier this month, Aetna announced it was pulling out of Affordable Care Act exchanges in 2/3 of the areas it served, though Connecticut was not impacted.

In August, a hearing was held after health insurers asked for rates to be increased. At that meeting, ConnectiCare asked for an average 24.3 percent increase for individual plans offered off the exchange, which cover 37,142 people. Meanwhile, Aetna asked for a 27.9 percent increase for off-exchange plans covering 6,346 people.

And in July, Wadleigh said that Access Health was working with Anthem and ConnectiCare to help them stay on the exchange. Both said at the time they would keep covering Connecticut residents for at least a year.