State healthcare exchange has signed up 150,000 people so far

The state’s new Obamacare healthcare exchange had enrolled more than 150,000 people as of March 9, surpassing its self-imposed goal of enrolling 100,000 residents by 50%.

Access Health CT is the entity established by the state of Connecticut to sign up people for healthcare coverage through the new federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Enrollment began last October.

Potential penalty for not signing up

According to federal law, residents must sign up for healthcare coverage or receive an exemption from coverage by March 31 to avoid a tax penalty. For 2014, the federal government will assess a penalty of 1% of a gross household income over the federal income tax filing threshold or $95 per individual, whichever amount is greater.

People can sign up for healthcare insurance online at, or call 855-805-4325 to speak with an Access Health CT representative.

‘There’s still time’

“If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time to visit our website, call our call center, visit an enrollment center or make an appointment for one-on-one assistance.,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of Access Health CT.

Connecticut’s sign-up rate appears to be one of the better ones in the country, although critics point out the figures include a substantial number of people who were already receiving health insurance through government assistance programs prior to the new federal law — and not just people who previously were uninsured.

The figures for Connecticut

According to Access Health CT, the enrollment numbers for the state as of the close of business March 9 were:

Unique website visitors — 710,638

Calls answered at call center — 275,111

Applications completed — 74,271

Membership from:

— Private insurance carrier / QHP — 60,534

— Medicaid (HUSKY A, HUSKY B, HUSKY D & CHIP) — 69,692

—New DSS* enrollment / Medicaid — 22,335

Total number of enrolled — 152,561

* — DSS is the state Department of Social Services