North Country News
5:45 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Governor Delays Full Implementation, Adds New Options to Health Exchange

Vermont is delaying implementation of its health care exchange plan due to problems with the state's enrollment website.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is expressing dissatisfaction with technical problems and delays that have beset the state’s health care exchange website, Vermont Health Connect, since its rollout on October 1st.

Individuals and families will be allowed to extend existing coverage through March 31st.  Small businesses will have the option to enroll in plans directly through the participating insurance carriers Blue Cross and MVP, working as agents to Vermont Health Connect. Governor Shumlin says there is progress being made improving the website, but he must find a balance between Vermonters’ needs and the technology challenges.

Vermont House Republican Leader Don Turner was pleased to hear the governor announce new options for the health care exchange, something he, and members of the Republican caucus, called for last week.

Turner adds that the governor’s alternative is what his caucus fought for during the Legislative session.

Vermont Insurance Agents’ Association Executive Director Mary Eversole says the changes  announced by the governor are very important to her members.

The alternatives announced by Governor Shumlin are effective through 2014. Eversole says they would have preferred to keep the current market in place for those that have policies.

Governor Shumlin says he picked March 31st because he felt it would give plenty of time to work with the venders to fix problems with the website.

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