2017 Affordable Care Act Expectations: Connecticut
Despite a concentrated effort by congressional Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the law is still in effect. That said, the ACA's future remains uncertain under the Trump Administration. To understand how potential changes could affect Connecticut residents, consider the following:
Where Do Things Currently Stand?
In March, Republican legislators attempted to garner support for a plan to repeal and replace the ACA. Faced with opposition from both Democrats and some conservative Republicans, the proposal ultimately failed. Right now, the ACA remains in place exactly as before. While no one knows for sure, most expect it to stay this way at least for the rest of 2017.
What Does it Mean for Connecticut?
While it was able to dodge a lot of the technology problems that plagued other state exchanges, Access Health CT experienced problems heading into its fourth open enrollment period. Faced with rising costs, two of the four carriers chose to exit the exchange after 2016. This left roughly 13,000 people needing to select new plans for 2017. Still, despite complications, the state reported more enrollments for 2017 compared to the previous year.
Widely considered one of the country's most successful state-run exchanges, Access Health CT has helped to reduce the state's uninsured rate to below four percent. As the exchange begins its fourth year of providing coverage, it is shifting its focus to reforming the healthcare delivery system, teaching consumers about preventative care, and creating incentives to make care and coverage more affordable and accessible.
What if the ACA Gets Repealed?
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, approximately 248,000 state residents could lose coverage by 2019 if the ACA is ultimately repealed. That said, it's not clear whether a comparable replacement would prevent this. According to the personal-finance website WalletHub, Connecticut would be the 10th most affected state by the ACA repeal. Again, however, it's unclear whether the ACA will ever be altered or repealed.
Assessing the Immediate Outlook
After failing to pass a repeal and replace measure, congressional Republicans appear content to leave the ACA in place for the foreseeable future. While they may still ultimately attempt to replace the ACA, most experts agree it will be a difficult - if not impossible - task. As of now, open enrollment has ended for 2017; however, coverage is still available for people with qualifying events. To see if you might be eligible for health care coverage outside the yearly open enrollment period, visit www.healthcare.gov. You can also get assistance at www.accesshealthct.com.