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Connecticut, like other states, launched an online health exchange -- Access Health CT -- where residents can shop for and purchase health insurance. There could be new opportunities for the unemployed or uninsured to receive health insurance. Here, we gather our coverage of changes under the new federal law.

More People Enroll in Private Insurance Than in Medicaid in Connecticut

The Connecticut Mirror

Connecticut is the only state that has so far enrolled more people in private insurance plans than Medicaid since open enrollment began on October 1. Access Health CT has signed up about 6,000 people in private plans, and about 4,700 in government-funded Medicaid coverage, according to the Associated Press.

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Access Health CT, spoke on WNPR's Where We Live. "Nationally, it's the opposite," he said. "If you look at the numbers from Oregon, Washington, Kentucky, Maryland: most states are seeing the proportion of their Medicaid expansion to be 90 or 95 percent of their total enrollment."

Larger enrollments in other states have been driven by expanded eligibility for Medicaid, but Counihan said Connecticut has been "highly progressive" in this regard, first expanding its Medicaid eligibility in in 2010. That means fewer people eligible to sign up for Medicaid now. "When we look at the market, to use a business term, for Medicaid expansion, it's less than 30,000 people," Counihan said.

Just last week, Access Health CT opened its first walk-in storefront in downtown New Britain to enroll people in both Medicaid and private insurance plans. Enrollment in small business plans has been smaller than the exchange expected, with about 300 to 400 employees signed up so far.

The marketplace is opening a small business center in Stamford to boost enrollment.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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