What’s Access Health CT?
Access Health CT is Connecticut’s health insurance marketplace, which was established in 2011 to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Just as Connecticut created Access Health CT, each state must have its own health insurance marketplace. Another way to refer to the health insurance marketplace is the “Exchange”.
How Does the Access Health CT Program Work?
Access Health CT helps to reduce your health insurance premiums through paying a portion of your monthly premium. The Access Health CT program is an income-based program, so depending on your income, Access Health CT will offer you a certain amount of financial aid. There are different levels of aid within the program, but the most common one is helping to reduce your health insurance premium by granting you a certain amount of Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC).
How Do APTC’s Help?
Advanced Premium Tax Credits help to directly lower your health insurance premiums, which are normally expensive. You can buy health insurance policies through private insurance companies, and some policies are available to buy both “On-Exchange” (through Access Health CT) or “Off-Exchange” (bought directly from the insurance company). If you buy an “On-Exchange” policy, you still get the benefit of applying for a plan through a private insurance company, but you get the added benefit of getting APTC’s if eligible.
For example, let’s say that you hypothetically purchase a health insurance policy from a private insurance company that has a $500 monthly premium. If you bought this policy “Off-Exchange”, then you would pay the $500 monthly premium in full. But, if you applied through Access Health CT and bought the policy “On-Exchange”, and they granted you $200 per month in Advanced Premium Tax Credits, then your total monthly premium would be $300.
Why is Income So Important for an On-Exchange Plan?
Your income is the main determining factor for how many Advanced Premium Tax Credits that Access Health CT will offer you. At the end of the tax year, you will be issued a 1095A form directly from Access Health CT, which you must file with your tax return. This 1095A form will show how many Advanced Premium Tax Credits that Access Health CT offered you during the tax year. Based on your actual income at the end of the tax year, and how many APTC’s that Access Health CT issued you during that tax year, you may need to either pay back some APTC’s if too many were given to you or you may be issued a tax refund if you were not given enough APTC’s.
For example, on your application to apply for a plan through Access Health CT, you put that your income was $40,000. Access Health CT processed this application and was steadily giving you APTC’s to help pay for your monthly health insurance premiums. At the end of the tax year, you made less money than what was expected and your actual income for the tax year was $35,000. In this case, you would receive some sort of tax refund, because Access Health CT did not give you enough APTC’s. The actual amount of your tax refund would be decided by your individual tax situation for that tax year.
What Income Counts?
- Wages, salaries, tips, etc.
- Taxable Interest
- Taxable amount of pension, annuity or IRA distributions and Social Security benefits
- Business income, farm income, capital gains, other gains (or loss)
- Unemployment compensation
- Ordinary dividends
- Alimony received
- Rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, S-corporations, trusts, etc.
- Taxable refunds, credits, or offsets of state and local income taxes
Note also that the actual income you should use is your Modified Adjusted Gross Income. In order to find out what this number is for you, it would be a good idea to talk to your accountant or tax preparer.
Who Can Apply?
As of May 1st, 2021, in accordance with the American Rescue Plan, Access Health CT’s online system was updated to incorporate new income thresholds, which substantially increases the amount of Advanced Premium Tax Credits for those eligible to receive them as well as allow people at higher income levels to receive tax credits. If you think you might be eligible for some amount of APTC’s, or would just like to see, then you can contact us to find out if you’re eligible!
Can I Talk to Someone About This?
Yes! The Access Health CT application process is best done with a licensed insurance broker, such as Vontell Insurance! We can walk you through your application, and give you advice on which plan to choose once we know your eligibility. To get a quote from us for this program, give us a call at (203) 375-7511 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.