Health & Medical Insurance in Hartford
Hartford has been consistently ranked among the America’s Top 20 Healthiest Cities by Forbes for many years, most recently making the number 7 spot. They attribute the city’s higher-than-normal amount of recreation centers, golf courses, swimming pools, and baseball diamonds to Hartford’s health, noting that residents of the metropolitan area are less likely to be obese and are all incredibly active. Also fond of the areas abundance of farmers’ markets, more residents are eating more servings of fresh produce each day in Hartford than in other cities. Another contribution is the high level of insured individuals, currently 86 percent of the population. With its many parks and focus on health, Hartford is an excellent place to live and be healthy.
Known as The Insurance Capital of the World, Hartford residents know about health insurance. With the majority of residents already covered, it clearly contributes positively to the city’s overall health. For those who cannot afford a health plan, there are several public programs in Connecticut for which you may be eligible. Otherwise, for individuals and families buying their own plans, Hartford is the home of Aetna, who undoubtedly insures much of the city, and is also served by Cigna, ConnectiCare, UnitedHealthcare, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Connecticut. Which will be the most affordable for you? Get a quote below and find out.
We went ahead and ran a sample quote for a 35-year-old female to describe what the Hartford market is like in 2013, finding Aetna offers the best price for a $2500 plan. Searching for a plan with copays and low coinsurance in this range, Aetna starts at $195 per month for a healthy woman in this age group. No other carrier offers a plan such as this for this cost, though ConnectiCare offers some good options for a low price, as well. Some of these carriers include programs to help their members stay well at no additional cost, and even include discounts on health-related products and services.
Living Well and Paying Less
Regardless of income level, anyone will agree they would rather not spend their earnings on medical care. Being insured is an expense that can help you keep that down should the need arise, though you can do plenty on your own to avoid unwelcome medical dilemmas. Being cautious and taking care of yourself are key in reducing your expenses for health care, and if you’re already investing in health insurance, why not stay healthy?
Granted, some of us have conditions, but we can make the best lifestyle changes possible to reduce further health problems that may result from them. Using your free preventative screenings each year as an insured is crucial, as well as taking your doctor’s advice on a few improvements you might make. Several insurance companies in Hartford also offer programs to help you meet health goals and stay away from the doctor, such as weight loss and smoking cessation.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of these carriers, and Aetna provides discount programs to its individual members to save money on gym memberships, dental products, weight-loss programs among others.
Though the city may not be ideal for pedestrian traffic, there are many ways to stay active around Hartford. If you enjoy one of the city’s outdoor recreation facilities right in town, like golf, tennis, or swimming, that’s perfect, but there are even more options in the area if you tire of the same routine. The best part of staying healthy is finding new ways to keep at it and maintain your high level of activity. So, whether you’re familiar with the area’s trails or you prefer to stay inside the city, take advantage of the enjoyable ways to be healthy in Hartford.
Public swimming pools may sound unappealing to a germophobe, but Hartford actually does a great job maintaining its pools – both indoor and outdoor. Though the option is only offered between late June and early August, these facilities are clean and offer relief from the summer heat as well as a free place to swim laps. They each have minimum height requirements in order to use, between 42 and 50 inches, and children must pass a swimming test before they are permitted to enter. Pretty serious!
- Colt Park: 92 Wethersfield Ave, Hartford CT.
- Goodwin Park: 1130 Maple Ave, Hartford, CT.
- Pope Park: 30 Pope Park Drive, Hartford, CT, (860) 722-6481.
- Keney Park: 471 Tower Ave, Hartford, CT.
- Hyland Park: 92 Zion St, Hartford, CT.
Hiking & Trail Running
A great year-round way to keep your blood flowing, the Hartford area offers many hiking trails to bring you out of the city and into the beautiful Connecticut wild. Parks across the region vary greatly, giving you a wide variety of scenery and trail lengths. The majority of the trails are understandably in a “moderate” difficulty classification, though there is an expert level trail nearby in Berlin if you feel adventurous. To view all the Hartford area trails, click here.
- Ragged Mountain Preserve Trail: Berlin, CT
- Talcott Mountain Trail: Simsbury, CT
- Indian Council Caves Trail: Barkhamstead, CT
- Castle Craig and West Peak Trail: Berlin, CT
- Case Mountain: Manchester, CT
For the state’s largest city, there are actually quite a few mountain bike trails in the area. Travel down a narrow singletrack or discover the broad dirt of a wider trail in one of the areas 19 different rides. An exhilarating experience and great workout, Hartford gives its mountain bike enthusiasts a broad selection of trails and levels of difficulty. Browse all of the best Connecticut trails here or try one of these.
- West Hartford Reservoir: Hartford, CT
- Pennwood State Park: Hartford, CT
- Nepaug State Forest: New Hartford, CT
- Meshomasic State Forest: Hartford, CT
- Farmington Walk: Hartford, CT
With many rivers throughout Connecticut, Hartford residents can also take a trip out of the city and paddle through various types of rapids. Whether you enjoy whitewater or grayish water, you can find the river of your preference within a reasonable drive. Kayaks are not too expensive to buy, but they are also offered as rentals from several locations in Hartford.
- Farmington River and Pequabuck River: 40 Mill Ln, Farmington, CT.
- Rainbow Reservoir: Merriman Rd, Windsor, CT.
- Burr Pond: Torrington, CT.
- Salmon River: Jeremy River to Route 16: Colchester, CT.
- Sandy Brook: Sandy Brook Road: Windstead, CT.
Cross Country Skiing
Surely if you own skis and live around Hartford, you’re likely to take a trip north or west to satisfy your craving for the mountains. But for the cold, snowy days when you still feel like being active, there are a few places in the area you can warm up with your skis and poles. Try a few of these spots to keep active in the winter and have fun doing it. For a full list of rail trails converted for use with cross country skis and other gear, click here.
- Sue Grossman Still River Greenway: Hartford, CT
- Farmington Canal Heritage Trail: Farmington, CT
- Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail: Windsor Locks to Suffield, CT.
- Northwest Park: Windsor, CT
- Jones Mountain: New Hartford, CT
Living in Hartford, home to seven farmers’ markets, there are local, fresh produce, dairy, meats, and other Connecticut-made products available year-round. One market is open all year, while others offer their delicious wares seasonally. In addition to residents cooking at home, this provides the city’s restaurants with high quality, local food. Organic and natural restaurants are not always easy to track down in Hartford, but there are a few worth considering for eating out and staying healthy. Here’s a sample of what Hartford has to offer.
- Hartford Farmers Markets: Community-based, fresh, locally grown food. Various locations.
- Alchemy Juice Bar: Juices, smoothies, and raw food. 203 New Britain Ave, (860) 246-5700.
- Firebox Restaurant: Farm-to-table, top-rated tavern-style dining in the mid price range. Open 539 Broad St, (860) 246-1222.
- I.O.N. Restaurant: Organic vegetarian menu plus organic wine and beer – open every day. 386 Main Street, Middletown, CT, (860) 346-9210.
- The Natural: Greek food offered daily in the heart of Hartford. 30 State House Sq # 5, (860) 247-1627.
- Tangiers International Food Market: International, natural foods to eat in or take out plus a full grocery. 668 Farmington Ave, West Hartford, (860) 233-8168.
- Whole Foods Market: 340 N Main St or 50 Raymond Rd, West Hartford, (860) 523-7174.