Frequently asked questions
Access Health CT Small Business is Connecticut’s official health insurance marketplace for small businesses, where you can shop, compare and enroll in quality health insurance plans. And it is only through Access Health CT Small Business that you can qualify for financial help to lower your costs. Our goal is to reduce costs, promote health, and eliminate obstacles to getting healthcare coverage for employees of small businesses.
Access Health CT connects your small business to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and ConnectiCare, brand-name insurance companies, for your medical or dental needs.
Our goal is to reduce the number of uninsured in the state, so we help brokers find and understand the best group health insurance and dental plan options to offer their clients.
Mainly, we offer group health plans that are easy to understand, flexible, and affordable. Other benefits include:
– No specific enrollment date or period. Coverage can be started any month of the year
– Ability to control the coverage benefits offered and employer contributions paid toward employee premiums (monthly payments)
– Variety of plan options (different levels and costs)
– Local or national coverage
– No administration fees
No. There is no membership fee for enrolling in health insurance plans offered through Access Health CT Small Business.
Client Relationship Managers are employees dedicated to supporting you. They help to guide and direct questions regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan provisions and requirements, as well as explain the nuances of the program.
Actually, no. Small businesses with under 50 employees are not required to offer health insurance. However, small businesses with under 50 employees are all we focus on, offering a variety of group plans through ConnectiCare and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Connecticut businesses need to have at least one employee – other than the business owner or their spouse – but no more than 50.
Yes. The employer may select any level of contribution toward employee premiums (monthly payments).
No. The employer selects the base plan for the employees and when an employee enrolls in the plan, the employee can elect additional coverage depending on what best fits his/her needs.
Currently, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and ConnectiCare are the two (2) carriers who participate with us:
– Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has nine plans – national coverage, PPO plans with out-of-network coverage.
– ConnectiCare has five plans – Connecticut-based with urgent and emergency coverage worldwide.
For 2020, there are four (4) basic categories of coverage – Platinum*, Gold, Silver, and Bronze and for 2021, there are three (3) basic categories of coverage – Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Each different plan category covers a different percentage of an individual’s medical expenses. Through Access Health CT Small Business, employers can offer employees plans from different carriers and tiers to fit their needs.
Yes. All our plans include a prescription drug plan.
No. Group insurance is not tied to an annual enrollment date and is instead based on a rolling date, so employers can start any time.
New employee hires can be added to a plan at any time throughout the year.
Plan rates are locked in for a 12-month period, so there are no surprises.
A notification is sent to the group policy owner ninety (90) and sixty (60) days before the renewal date, and it will include any changes to the plan. If no action is taken, the plan will auto-renew.
No. There is no underwriting or family health statement required.
Yes! Brokers may be eligible for commissions for their services from the insurance companies offering plans through Access Health CT Small Business. Questions regarding commission payments should be directed to insurance companies.
No. These plans do not have a contribution requirement if 75% of employees participate or have a valid waiver.
AHCT Small Business group plans require 75% employee participation to be eligible for a waiver of the contribution requirement. This means that 75% of employees must have health coverage – but coverage can be through any type of plan (Medicare, Medicaid, student plan, spouse plan, individual plan etc.)
To keep things simple for small business owners, Access Health CT Small Business sends one bill for all plans.
That is one of the things your designated Customer Relationship Manager can help with. If any issues or problems arise, they are available to assist in the resolution of the issue.
Small businesses may qualify for a tax credit (financial help) worth up to 50% of their contribution to their employee premiums (monthly payments). Small tax-exempt employers may qualify for a tax credit worth up to 35% of their contribution to their premiums. The credit is available to eligible employers for two (2) consecutive tax years.
To qualify, a small business must:
– Have fewer than 25 full-time employees
– Contribute at least 50% of each employee’s insurance premium (or in a case of tax-exempt employer, 35% of each employee’s insurance premium)
– Pay average annual wages of less than $55,000 per FTE (as adjusted for inflation)
*Important: Sole proprietors, partners, shareholders of more than 2% of an “S” corporation and owners of more than 5% of the business or other businesses (and family members of these owners) are not counted as employees and their incomes and hours worked are not factored into any calculations relating to the tax credit.
Access Health CT Small Business is open to all Connecticut-based small businesses that have at least one employee – not a business owner or their spouse – but less than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.
For purposes of qualifying for the small business tax credit, the number of FTE employees is generally based on the total hours the employees work, not the number of people the employer employs. You can calculate this number by first totaling the hours of service for which your client pays wages to their employees. (Do not include any time worked over 2,080 hours by any
employee when totaling the number of hours worked.) Then divide the total hours by 2,080 (2,080 is the number of hours worked in a 40-hour work week for a single year), and round
down to the nearest whole number.
When determining FTEs and average annual wages, do not count seasonal employees – those who work 120 or fewer days a year – and do not count certain business owners (sole proprietors, shareholders of more than 2% of an “S” corporation and owners of more than 5% of the business or other businesses, partners in a partnership, or the families of these business owners.
Working with us, you can either enroll clients through our customer portal or using traditional paper enrollment.