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State to help train insurance brokers for underserved cities

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut’s health care exchange announced plans Wednesday to launch a training program for licensed independent insurance brokers in the state’s three largest cities.

James Michel, the chief executive of Access Health CT, said once these brokers are licensed, they will be certified to sell insurance on the state’s health care exchange and will not be tied to any particular insurance carriers. The plan is to have the brokers in the markets by November, when enrollment in the exchange begins.

“It will increase the opportunity for coverage, especially at a time when health insurance is more affordable than ever for many through Access Health and the subsidies provided by the American Rescue Plan,” he said.

Michel said the Broker Academy will expand access to health insurance for underserved communities in greater Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford by placing insurance brokers where there currently are none.

The first class, to be launched in June, is to include 100 students. Those chosen will receive free training, a three-month apprenticeship with an experienced insurance broker, professional development and program support, including a free laptop computer.

“We don't get anything from them other than the benefit of them doing good work for their communities in helping us to lower the uninsured and move closer to eliminating health disparities in Connecticut,” Michel said.

Michel said plans call for expanding the program to other cities after the initial program is complete.

Lamont said his administration also will propose in its budget, funds to eliminate health insurance copays and deductibles for low-income people.

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