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    Insurance Exchange Outreach In Connecticut Goes Far Afield


    It’s not easy to do this outreach. Often people walk right by Cebert and her colleagues. But if the health insurance expansion is going to survive, the outreach is important. It’s about more than the numbers. It’s about demographics.

    “We’re gonna be at Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley, we’re going to be at the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival, we’re going to be at John Mayer and Phillip Phillips,” says Counihan, naming upcoming concerts.

    “It has to be broad and comprehensive,” he continues. “If we narrowed this, say, to the Hartford Pops Festival, or the Hartford Jazz Festival, we will get a slim demographic which doesn’t adequately reflect our state.”

    A few weeks later, Counihan’s operation was at the Milford Oyster Festival, with a shucking competition. The goal was to reach an older, more suburban crowd.

    Robert Harrington was there. He says he could get health insurance through his job, but he doesn’t. It’s too expensive, and he makes a calculation.

    “A hundred dollars a week. You know. Do I pay health insurance [or] do my kids eat?” he asks.

    Now, he doesn’t have much of a choice. He doesn’t like President Obama. And he doesn’t like Obamacare. But he doesn’t want to be penalized for being uninsured.

    “You know, I got to do what I got to do. I don’t want to get fined. Cause it’s a tax!” he says.

    And then there’s Gary Mott. He’s a tub refinisher with insurance, but he worries about his $10,000 deductible for the policy that covers him and his wife.

    “For both of us all together, it’s about $450 (a month), so we’re good right now, as far as premiums go. But that deductible — if one or both of us gets sick, we’re in trouble. That’s how people end up losing their homes and such.”

    So Mott could be one of the people who finds an option in Connecticut’s marketplace. Exchange head Counihan says he’s hoping to enroll about 100,000 in the first year alone.

    Thu, Sep 12 2013

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