Connecticut Health Insurance Rates – Review All Companies And Plans

Access Health Ct, the Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace for Connecticut residents, offers affordable medical coverage for individuals and families, regardless of medical conditions. Low-cost federally-subsidized plans are available along with  non-Obamacare options that don’t rely on government aid. You can easily review multiple plans from all available companies, and quickly enroll online. Comprehensive, catastrophic, HSA, single, family, and student plans are offered.

Many improvements and changes have been made. More individual plan choices, broader provider networks, and  price decreases can benefit consumers. Open Enrollment begins every November 1st, although qualifying life events through special enrollment periods, and short-term coverage are available at any time. Policies with many different deductible and copay options, can be customized to closely match your household budget and health needs. If you are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, separate plans are offered.

CT Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and Medicare Advantage plans are available for Seniors, although the Open Enrollment period starts earlier (October 15th).  Part D prescription drug plans are also offered to persons that have reached age 65 and are Medicare-eligible. Supplement plans are standardized, which helps consumers compare benefits. A special High Deducible option (Plan F) offers a single deductible with lower premiums.

 

Network Providers

Typically, if you purchase an “off-Exchange” plan, you can expect a robust network of doctors, specialists, hospitals and other medical facilities. However, “on-Exchange” (Marketplace)  policies sometimes feature limited availability and a much smaller network. This is a common practice among many major insurers. Therefore, it is important to verify that your physician, specialist, and any other facility you use is considered “in-network.” This can save thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket expenses. Often, if an “X” precedes the name of the plan, the network is utilized for federally-subsidized contracts. Emergency treatment, however, is generally considered “in-network,” regardless where you receive service.

Previously, the “85 Rule” took effect. This requires participating carriers to include at least 85% of their “off-Exchange” providers in policies sold through the Marketplace along with new regulations designed to protect policyholders. Also, new standards were created to protect consumers that have to travel unnecessary long distances for in-network treatment as well as the length of time it takes to provide treatment.

The impact has resulted in higher rates, since companies  now have less clout regarding the selection of who is included and excluded in their networks. Previous negotiated huge reductions may become much less, which ultimately impacts the customer’s pocketbook with higher out-of-pocket costs. Fortunately, large network reductions are continue to be applied to many common services, such as MRIs, CAT scans, blood tests, x-rays, outpatient procedures, and Urgent Care visits.

Health Exchange Rates In Connecticut

2017 Rates Will Increase, But Not Significantly

If you forget to sign up or miss Open Enrollment, additional options are provided. SEP (Special Enrollment Periods)  provide numerous exceptions that allow you to purchase coverage any time of the year. Access Health CT comparisons  provide the information needed to select the best available policy (subsidized or unsubsidized). “Qualifying life events” provide the exceptions needed to enroll. Common examples are moving to a different service area, losing employer-provided benefits, reaching age 26 while covered under a parent’s policy, divorce, or birth of a child (baby will qualify, but not the parents).

 

Companies Requested 2018 Price Changes

Of course,  prices have changed. For most carriers, premiums have increased. Due to higher-than-expected submitted claims in the past, and an increase in future claims and expenses, most companies requested price hikes. Many plans are no longer available, or have been replaced by alternative coverage. Listed below are recent requested rate changes that were submitted to the Connecticut “Department Of Insurance.” These requests include private individual and family coverage, along with Group plans offered through employers.

Aetna – 19.37% Preferred PPO Small Group

Anthem BCBS – 24.16% – HMO Individual

Anthem BCBS – 28.09% – PPO Individual

Anthem BCBS – 38.26% – HMO Off-Exchange Individual

Anthem BCBC – 24.68% – HMO On-Exchange Small Group

Anthem BCBC – 31.81% – PPO Off-Exchange Small Group

Anthem BCBC – 13.35% – HMO Off-Exchange Small Group

ConnectiCare – 11.05% – POS Individual

ConnectiCare – 4.85% – POS Small Group

ConnectiCare – 33.41% – POS Individual

ConnectiCare – 7.99% – FlexPOS  Small Group

ConnectiCare – 4.54% – HMO Small Group

ConnectiCare – 29.27% – HMO Individual

Harvard Pilgrim – 10.75% – Small Group

HPHC Insurance – 17.10% – Small Group

Oxford Health – 12.62% – PPO Small Group

Oxford Health – 8.43% – HMO Small Group

Oxford Health – 9.87% – POS Small Group

UnitedHealthcare – -.51% – Choice Plus Small Group

Cigna, one of the largest US carriers, maintains a strong group/employer market share in the state. However, they are offering no options in 2018 and did not participate in 2016 and 2017. Their Senior products, however, continue to be very popular.

2018 Rates

Selected estimated monthly plan prices are listed below. Subsidies, which can substantially reduce premiums, are included. Depending upon eligibility and household income, your subsidy could pay most or all of the premium.

 

25 Year-Old  New Haven County With Income Of $28,000

$20Choice Bronze Standard POS HSA (ConnectCare) – HSA-eligible option with $5,865 deductible and  $6,550 maximum out-of-pocket costs and 10% coinsurance.

$26Passage Bronze Alternative PCP POS (ConnectCare) – $6,500 deductible with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $7,350 and 50% coinsurance. No charge for pcp office visits.  $5 generic drug copay ($10 for 90-day mail order).

$32Bronze High Deductible HMO Pathway X Enhanced (Anthem) – $6,500 deductible and  $7,350 maximum out-of-pocket costs and  40% coinsurance.

$45 – Bronze HMO Pathway X Enhanced for HSA (Anthem) – HSA-eligible option with $5,800 deductible and  $6,650 maximum out-of-pocket costs and  30% coinsurance.

$53 – Choice Bronze Standard POS (ConnectCare) – $6,000 deductible with $7,350 maximum out-of-pocket expenses. Pcp office visit copay is $40. Generic drug copay is $5.

$65Bronze PPO Standard Pathway (Anthem) – $6,000 deductible and  $7,350 maximum out-of-pocket costs and  40% coinsurance. Pcp office visit copay is $40 with $75 Urgent Care copay. Generic drug copay is $5 ($10 for mail-order).

$176Choice Silver Standard POS (ConnectCare) – $3,350 deductible with $5,850 maximum out-of-pocket expenses. $40 and $50 office visit copays with $75 Urgent Care copay. $5 generic drug copay ($10 for mail-order).

$177Passage Silver Alternative PCP POS (ConnectCare) – $3,250 deductible with $5,850 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 50% coinsurance. $5 and $50 office visit copays with $75 Urgent Care copay. $5 generic drug copay and $60 preferred brand drug copay ($10 and $120 for mail-order).

 

45 Year-Old Fairfield County With Income Of $34,000

$109 – Choice Bronze Standard POS HSA (ConnectCare) – HSA-eligible option with $5,865 deductible and  $6,550 maximum out-of-pocket costs and 10% coinsurance.

$163 – Choice Bronze Standard POS (ConnectCare) -  $40 pcp office visit copay, but specialist visits must meet deductible. $6,000 deductible with $7,150 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 50% coinsurance.

$171 – Bronze PPO Standard Pathway X (Anthem) – $40 pcp office visit copay with $75 Urgent Care copay.  Specialist visits must meet deductible. $6,000 deductible also applies to prescription drugs.

$171 – Bronze HMO Pathway X Enhanced For HSA (Anthem) – HSA-eligible option with $6,250 deductible and  $6,550 maximum out-of-pocket costs and  0% coinsurance.

$264 – Choice Silver Standard POS (ConnectCare) – Cheapest Silver-tier plan. $35 and $50 copays on office visits with $75 Urgent Care copay.  Deductible is $4,000 with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $7,150.  Copays only for Tier 1, 2, and 3 drugs ($5, $35, and $60).

$332 – Gold HMO Pathway X Enhanced (Anthem) – Least expensive Gold-tier plan. $40 and $50 office visit copays with low $1,500 policy deductible. Maximum out-of-pocket expenses are $4,800. Tier 1 and Tier 2 prescription drug copays are $5 and $60.

 

50 Year-Old Married Couple Hartford County With Income Of $45,000

$29Bronze Select HSA (ConnectiCare) – HSA-eligible with $6,000 deductible (per person).

$140 – Bronze Basic HSA 3 (Healthy CT) – Attractive $4,250 deductible and HSA-eligible.

$187 -Bronze Choice (ConnectCare) -  $30 pcp office visit copay with reasonable $3,500 deductible (per person).

$349 – Silver Standard (ConnectCare) – $30 and $50 copys on pcp and specialist visits. $150 prescription deductible with low copays on Tier 1, 2, and 3 drugs ($5, $35, and $55).

$414 – Silver PPO Standard Pathway X (Anthem) – Attractive $2,900 deductible with  $30 and $50 office visit copays. Similar prescription benefits as prior plan.

 

High Deductible Plans (HDHP) with HSAs

HSA plans have been one of the fastest growing types of medical coverage over the last decade. And why not? Rates are typically quite affordable compared to other options, you generate a tax deduction (for dental and vision expenses too) and retain much better control over your expenditures. HSA coverage is most effective for individuals and families that rarely meet their deductible, and have no major illnesses or chronic conditions. You can change companies, while still retaining the same HSA banking agreement. Also, if you reach age 65, although deposits are no longer allowed, approved funds can continue to pay for qualified expenses.

Companies that participate in the CT Marketplace, are required to include a Bronze HSA in their portfolio of products. Additional information are provided to consumers regarding how these plans work and the role of the special side fund. However, the “side fund” is not mandatory to qualify for a High-Deductible plan. Often, it is either never set up, or created months after the original policy was purchased. Banks often administer the HSA portion of the coverage, while insurers underwrite and administer the actual healthcare coverage.

For 2018, the maximum allowed contribution into an HSA is $3,450 for individuals, and $6,900 for a family. A $1,000 “catch-up” contribution is permitted if you have reached age 55. The minimum deductibles are now $1,300 for individuals, and $2,600 for a family. The maximum out-of-pocket amounts for 2018 are $6,650 for individuals and $13,300 for a family.

Listed below are the available Connecticut  HSA Plans:

Choice Bronze Standard (ConnectiCare)

Bronze HMO Pathway X Enhanced For HSA (Anthem)

Bronze PPO Standard Pathway X For HSA (Anthem)

 

Connecticut Dental Exchange Plans

Dental Coverage Will Be Available In 2015

Dental Insurance For Adults

Previously, pediatric dental coverage was required, and included on most plans. However, if you wanted adult benefits, you had to purchase it separately through the major companies that offered it. Or, reputable websites, such as www.connecticutdentalinsurance.com were available for free quick quotes and easy enrollment. Actually, you can still purchase coverage through this website and receive the lowest available rates.

Individual and family dental policies are now offered. You can buy a plan at the time you enroll for your healthcare coverage. Or you can visit the website we earlier mentioned. Monthly premiums can range between $20 and $75, depending upon covered benefits. The lower-priced options typically cover preventive benefits only. Root canals, bridge work and other comprehensive procedures are usually covered, but not fully. More comprehensive benefits are offered through employer-provided Group plans.

Listed below are several available individual and family dental plan options from various approved carriers. Monthly rates are shown for a 40 year-old male residing in Hartford. Benefits, and out-of-pocket maximums will vary between companies. Prices can also vary, depending upon the county of residence. Waiting periods may be required on selected major procedures.

$21 – Starmont Preventative Basic 2.0. $1,000 maximum benefit and $50 deductible.

$22 – IHC Group Bay. $1,000 maximum benefit and $50 deductible.

$26 – Nationwide Multiflex Dental PPO Advantage.  $500 maximum benefit and $0 deductible.

$30 – Humana Preventative Plus.  $1,000 maximum benefit and $50 deductible.

$46 – Nationwide Mutliflex Dental Classic Select 1500. $1,500 maximum benefit and $50 deductible.

$49 – Nationwide Mutliflex Dental Classic Select 2000. $2,000 maximum benefit and $50 deductible.

$51 – Anthem Dental Prime B. $1,000 maximum benefit and $50 deductible.

$71 – Anthem Dental Family Enhanced.  $2,200 maximum benefit and $60 deductible.

 

Increased Number Of Policy Options

There are two types of Exchange plans available. A “standard” policy won’t deviate from other companies. Benefits will be almost identical so comparing prices will be easy. “Custom” policies allow the insurer to add unique features designed to enhance benefits and make it stand out from the other carriers. Compliant “Exchange” and “Off-Exchange” plans must include 10 “essential” health benefits, so other than deductible, copay, coinsurance,  out-of-pocket expenses, and premium differences, core benefits remain quite similar. Since “short-term” and “limited benefit” plans are not compliant, they are not required to include all “essential” benefits.

The availability of “Platinum” Marketplace policies will continue. These “Cadillac” plans feature the lowest copays, coinsurance and deductibles, resulting in the smallest out-of-pocket expenses for individuals and families. Of course, for most persons, they will also be the most expensive option. They will be subsidy-eligible, which will help households that meet the ACA income requirements. However, if there are no major pre-existing conditions, often, the Platinum option is not the most cost-effective choice.

Participating companies do not have to offer Platinum policies to consumers. However, Gold, Silver and Bronze plans are a requirement, and they are the most popular choices. Bronze and Catastrophic policies feature low premiums but also have the highest out-of-pocket costs.

Plan Design Changes

Affordable Exchange Policies In CT.

Bronze Plans Are Cheap An Subsidy-Eligible

The cheapest of the 2018 Metal tiers (Bronze) features a $7,350 deductible, which is an increase from $7,150. The maximum out-of-pocket expenses for a family plan is $14,700. However, a minimum of three primary-care and mental-health office visits are covered on “catastrophic” plans without having to meet that large deductible. Although a copay must be paid, significant out-of-pocket costs could result if many visits to a specialist are required.

Typically, there is also an added copay on generic prescriptions. It won’t save a substantial amount of premium since most generic drugs are already cheap. But for persons that take multiple medications, it could save hundreds of dollars per year.

Since “catastrophic” plans are not eligible for subsidies, Bronze contracts are often the best combination of value and benefits, since all 10 “essential health benefits” must be included. Healthy CT’s “Basic Plus,” Connecticare’s “CBI HSA,”  and Anthem’s DirectAccess HSA are three of the cheapest available plans.

The basic Silver tier policy will trim $400 off its $3,000 deductible to $2,600. And the cost of drugs will get cheaper as the deductible falls to $25 from $400. Maximum out-of-pocket costs will slightly increase, which should help keep prices fairly stable.

Although most consumers do not reach their deductible during a regular calendar year, if you have a serious illness or injury that requires a lengthy hospital confinement, you will easily reach your maximums. Of course, if you are certain these numbers will be reached, a more expensive plan with a lower maximum expenses may actually be cost-effective. For example, a Silver or Gold-tier policy may have a higher premium, but offset the cost with a lower maximum-out-of-pocket cost.

Older News:

August 2014 – Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and ConnectiCare Benefits had their rate increases turned down by the Department of Insurance. Meanwhile, HealthCT was granted an 8.5% decrease, based on projected lower than expected claims. In 2014, HealthCt’s pricing was among the highest of all participating Marketplace companies.

UnitedHealthcare was asked to provide a new set of recalculated  rates since they don’t have a history of  relevant historical experience for plans that are “guarantee-issue.” Also, UHC’s allowable administrative expenses were expected to be approximately 5.25% instead of 7.9%.

September  2014 – The Federal Exchange and government website has a new CEO. He is Kevin Counihan, who has resigned as the chief operating officer of the Connecticut Marketplace. Counihan leaves his position after two years of service, and will prepare the .gov website for Open Enrollment, which begins on November 15th.

Jim Wadleigh will be the interim CEO until a full-time successor is named within the next 2-6 months. Wadleigh was previously in charge of information technology for Access Health Ct.

October  2014 – Hartford and Anthem continue to negotiate over several hospitals that are now considered “out of network” for Anthem policyholders. Although emergency situations are not impacted, most other treatments are affected. The impacted hospitals are MidState Medical Center, Backus Hospital, Hartford Hospital, Institute Of Living And Jefferson House, and Windham Hospital, and Hospital of Central Connecticut.

Additional facilities will also be considered “out of network”  in November if an agreement is not reached. If ongoing treatment is being administered, special provisions may be made to cover costs. Cancer and other chronic conditions would most likely be considered as one of the exceptions. If you have already scheduled a procedure or surgery, consumers should check with their primary care physician.

October  2014 – More than 75,000 persons enrolled in last year’s Exchange and they will be contacted shortly to notify them of the upcoming Open Enrollment in November. Although everyone can choose to re-enroll, another option is to compare 2015 plan options and pick a new policy and/or a new carrier.

Subsidy calculations may change since  the poverty guidelines will be different and four new companies are now part of the Marketplace. And if household income has changed, it could impact the premium you are expected to pay.

October  2014 – In-person helpers will once again help in the enrollment process for 2015 policies. The Connecticut Health Foundation is donating funds that will be used to help low-income applicants obtain affordable coverage. Several of the Agencies include  the Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury and the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition. The extra money will help reach many communities that otherwise would not receive any personal assistance.

November  2014 – More than 11,000 persons have applied for coverage during the first week of 2015 Open Enrollment. Last year, about 275,000 persons enrolled in an Exchange plan or Medicaid. By the close of this year’s OE period in February, it is expected that the total number will reach about 350,000.

It is hoped that the percentage of uninsured will fall below 4% by the end of 2015. The Library Association and Department of Labor are helping local residents as navigators, along with other outreach resources in local communities.

December  2014 – Plans that exclude abortion benefits are now available on some Marketplace plans for 2015. Litigation has now been settled with Barth and Abbie Bracy since  the Anthem BCBS Gold HMO Pathway X and Silver Pathway X plans are now available. Any potential consumer that requests information regarding the availability of these types of policies, will now be informed of their options.

By 2017,  all states must offer policies that exclude abortion coverage.  Currently, there still is a fee charged on Exchange policies to pay for these types of claims. Although the surcharge is fairly nominal, it is an extra fee that is unpopular with many residents.

December  2014 – The early winner in Exchange sales is ConnectiCare. Of the approximately 20,000 persons that have so far enrolled, more than 7,000 have selected a ConnectiCare plan. Second is Anthem Blue Cross And Blue Shield with more than 7,000 new customers. UnitedHealthcare, one of the nation’s largest carriers, has signed up about 2,000 persons so far.

March  2015 – Bill No. 1024 “An Act Concerning The Security Of Consumer Data” is being considered by the State General Assembly. Proper encryption of personal information would be required by companies and entities involved in the healthcare  business.

Regulations and minimum security standards and guidelines would be implemented within two years of passage of the bill, with necessary  updates and changes made in a timely manner. New Jersey passed  similar legislation earlier in the year. The Anthem security breech  was certainly one of the impetuses of  Bill No. 1024.

June 2015 -  Anthem has Cigna and Aetna on its potential takeover candidate radar list. Since Anthem Blue Cross ad Blue Shield and Cigna underwrite most of the policies in Connecticut, a merger may lessen competition and perhaps increase rates. The CT Department of Insurance is closely monitoring events and would have to ultimately approve the deal.

However, Cigna did turn down the $47 billion offer from Anthem. The offer corresponds to about $184 per share, which is about $20 higher than the current Cigna share price. Although the negotiating door is not closed ($200 per share might be a more acceptable offer), concerns about regulations and protection of private account information are issues that may need to be resolved.

July 2017 – 2018 Open Enrollment begins November 1, and continues until December 15th. The 45-day period  has been reduced from 90 days for all states by the Department of Health and Human Services. Anthem and ConnectiCare are the two carriers that are expected to offer Marketplace plans. Anthem has proposed a 33.8% rate increase while ConnectiCare has requested a 15.2% increase.

Buy Health Insurance In Connecticut After Open Enrollment Ends

Buying health insurance in Connecticut during Open Enrollment ends on December 22nd if you are using Access Health CT, the state Marketplace. Federal subsidies are based on qualifying household income and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare mandates that no medical questions can be asked and pre-existing conditions must be covered. The Senior Medicare OE period begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th.

But for every rule, there are always a few (sometimes many) exceptions, and 2018 is not different. Purchasing coverage in January (and afterwards)  is possible, and many affordable medical plans are available. We review some of the best options and the circumstances that they will be offered. Although many policies can be purchased throughout the year by persons under age 65, these plans may be medically-underwritten, or also be designed to be supplementary or ancillary coverage to a primary plan.

However, it’s important to understand that unless you have an approved exception, you will not be able to purchase on or off-Exchange plans from Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare,  Anthem Blue Cross And Blue Shield, Healthy CT, and ConnectCare. If you become eligible for Medicaid, you can apply at any time. And if you reach age 65, you can apply for Medicaid and also purchase an optional Medigap plan. Supplement, Advantage, and Part d prescription drug benefits may be available to you, especially if you have signed up for Parts A and B.

Can I Buy A Policy After December 22nd?

Yes. There are many perfectly legal (and affordable) ways to obtain healthcare benefits. Some of the most common methods are if you have a “qualifying life event.”  This allows you to purchase an SEP (Special Enrollment Period) plan, regardless of Open Enrollment dates. You would also be able to receive the federal subsidy (assuming your household income meets eligibility guidelines). Some of the most likely “life changes” are:

Marriage

Adopting a child

Death

Losing medical benefits because of job loss, divorce, ending of COBRA or sudden ineligibility of Medicaid.

Changing residences to a different coverage area.

Losing CHIP eligibility.

Losing Medicare eligibility.

Dependent reaching age 26 (on parent’s plan).

Minimum essential benefits were lost.

Just became a US citizen.

Error in previous Open Enrollment process.

No longer incarcerated.

If any of these situations occur, you are given approximately 60 days to apply and enroll in a qualified plan.

What Is The Cheapest Option If I Miss The Open Enrollment Deadline?

Get Cheap Temporary Medical Coverage Connecticut

A Short-Term policy Won’t Empty Your Pocket!

A short-term policy is extremely inexpensive compared to Marketplace plans that are not eligible for a subsidy. However, this type of policy is not compliant with ACA mandates, and therefore you will be subject to a tax penalty of $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, or 2.5% of your income (whichever is greater). The maximum penalty is $2,085. Of course, premiums (see below) are very cheap, which should easily offset the penalty. Also, the first $10,000 (for an individual) is not considered when calculating the penalty.

HCC Life Insurance company offers the most competitive prices for Temporary medical coverage in Connecticut.  We have listed the monthly rates (below) for  a 35 year-old male:

$68 – $7,500 Deductible with 50% coinsurance

$72 – $7,500 Deductible with 20% coinsurance

$76 – $5,000 Deductible with 50% coinsurance

$86 – $2,500 Deductible with 50% coinsurance

$115 – $1,000 Deductible with 50% coinsurance

This particular HCC plan offers a $2 million lifetime cap with prescription, office visit and major medical coverage. It is not a permanent alternative to a Marketplace or off-Exchange plan, but it is a legitimate and reputable option if Open Enrollment is missed. Generally, selecting the major medical option is the most cost-effective choice.

Are Limited Benefit Plans A Good Idea?

Typically, these types of policies have fairly significant holes in coverage, including limitations on number of  days of hospital benefits, outpatient surgery coverage, and limits on surgery reimbursements. Also, many of these plans charge a large application fee. $20 is acceptable, but $100 and above is borderline egregious. The ACA penalty also applies to these types of policies, making it a very expensive choice for a policy that you are likely to terminate fairly quickly. Unless you miss the OE deadline, these types of plans should not be purchased.

Benefits may include preventive coverage along with a specific dollar amount ($40-$80) to pay for office visits and specialist visits that are symptomatic instead of preventive. There usually is a limitation on usage (perhaps 2-4 times per year).

Gaps From This Type Of Plan

One of the biggest pitfalls of  “Limited Benefit” plans is the coverage gap if you are hospitalized (both inpatient and outpatient). There is often a designated dollar amount (per day) that is paid along with a predetermined reimbursement schedule for itemized surgeries. A typical daily cap may  be $250 or $500, and limit the duration of benefits to 30 days (or less). This can create enormous medical bills that are substantially higher than a conventional policy would have.

Often the companies that offer these options are not “name” carriers and may have sub-par ratings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Moodys and other local rating agencies.  The number of unresolved complaints may also be large. Our advice: Beware! However, if there are no other viable alternatives, it may be better than being uninsured.

How Much Is The Extra Tax If I Never Enroll?

Missed Open Enrollment In Connecticut?

Don’t Take A Chance! Get Affordable Coverage Now!

Officially, the name of the tax is the “Individual Shared Responsibility Payment.” The penalty (discusses earlier) is $325 per adult and $162.50 per child. However, if 2% of your income is greater than those amounts, you will pay the higher tax. Typically, the 2% will be the amount you pay. It is possible, however, that the alternative penalty of $325 may apply for lower-income households.

This amount will be increasing to 2.5% by 2016, which represents $2,500 of extra taxes for a $100,000 household income. If you are without coverage only part of the year, you will be charged 1/12 of the tax for each month that applies. However, despite paying the tax, you are still not covered.

Enforcement details are still unknown, although deducting amount owed from a tax refund is the first step. Form 1095-A is needed if you received a subsidy the previous calendar year. This form is needed to complete form 8962, which documents the premium tax credit you received. So far, more than half of consumers that received a subsidy, are being asked to pay an additional amount since their income exceeded initial estimates.

Also, a special “clawback” provision applies if you underestimate your income. In 2015, when the process is more settled, more robust enforcement procedures will be in place.

You will be exempted from the fee if you miss less than three months out of the year or if the least expensive available plan costs more than 8% of all of your household income. Also, if you’re not required to file a tax return, you also cannot be penalized, so very low-income households are not in jeopardy of paying the penalty.

Some of the lesser-known and rarely utilized exceptions include incarceration, being part of a legitimate Indiana tribe,  and being part of a recognized care-sharing ministry. Hardship, religious conscience  and affordability are also exceptions.

Can I Enroll Next Year If I Miss This Year’s Deadline?

Yes you can. OE begins in November, and regardless of whether you are currently covered or not, you can apply for a plan. Eligibility for the federal subsidy will be determined by the number of persons in your household along with the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). No medical questions will be asked and your conditions will be covered.

You don’t have to go without affordable health insurance in Connecticut if you miss Open Enrollment. We’ll show you how to obtain quality benefits at the lowest available prices.

Fun Things To Do In Hartford Ct.

There are many fun things to do in Hartford. Although we are an insurance website, occasionally we stray off-topic to bring Connecticut consumers valuable information about the Constitution state. After all, Hartford is the “Insurance Capital Of The World, and one of our favorite cities, so we thought we would share 10 great places to visit.

Satan’s Kingdom State Recreation Area. It’s not what you think! We’re not sure how this great park got its name but we found no signs of Satan! Tubing down the Farmington River on a hot day is the highlight of anyone’s summer. There are two separate “rapids” and the water (as well as the park) is very clean.

You can rent tubes or bring your own. The cost is approximately $15-$20 which is quite reasonable. The second half of the river is much calmer with very few rapids. When your tubing is finished, a bus will take you back to your original destination. You can also walk along trails and find many other great outdoor activities.

Wadsworth Atheneum  Many folks don’t realize that the oldest US public art museum is here in Hartford. If you have ever seen the building that look like a castle on Main Street, that’s probably the museum. It was built in 1842 and there are more than 50,000 French and American paintings, furniture, fine arts and porcelains.

Visit Hartford Museums

Beautiful Wadsworth Atheneum

Whether you prefer the Renaissance, ancient Rome, Greece or Egyptian artifacts, you’ll need more than an afternoon to see even a small portion of what’s available to the public. Many acquired pieces are our country’s first for that specific type of artifact and more than 5,000 years of history is covered.

Ski Sundown If you want to enjoy skiing, and prefer not to travel a great distance, this is the place to go. There are many trails, so both the novice and expert will be satisfied. Two of the most popular trails are Gunbarrel and Black Diamonds. Ski lessons are also available, although they can be a bit pricey, depending on how many you take.

With four-hour lift tickets, no charge for parking and a restaurant available, you can easily spend an entire day there. Night skiing is available as well as a well-maintained bar. The man-made snow is fairly realistic with very few complaints.

The Insurance Companies Wait a second! Do I really mean the insurance companies? That doesn’t sound like fun. Admittedly, it would not be very exciting for most of you. Probably just about all of you. But if you enjoy visiting large insurers, there are plenty of companies that operate out of Hartford, including Aetna, Phoenix Companies, Hartford, Lincoln National and Uniprise.

Although many others have scaled down their operations, Hartford is still a hub for major financial operations. And perhaps a “must see” is the Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Building which was the first two-sided building in the world.


Connecticut Valley Winery 
This family-owned business has a little bit of everything for visitors. Of course, enjoying wine always helps. The tasting room is a great way to start your experience. There are plenty of red and wine choices provided by the Ferraro family, and unless you actually do some tasting, there is no charge.

There’s an outside dining area along with fireplace seating inside during the colder months. The combination of lovely landscapes and views make it a great destination to sit and relax with a glass (or bottle) of wine. The Winery is located on Litchfield Turnpike in  New Hartford.

Mark Twain House  In the late 1800′s, Twain and his family resided here. As one of the most recognized US writers, it’s always an interesting for history and literary buffs. But most other visitors seem to enjoy spending time (not too much!) at the house. There is a gift shop and a small theater to help make the trip worthwhile.