North Country News
6:30 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Rocky Start for Health Exchange

Officials in Vermont say enrollment numbers are increasing after a rocky launch of Vermont’s health insurance marketplace.

Vermont Health Connect, the state health insurance exchange, opened Tuesday with numerous technical glitches. There were complaints that web pages opened too slowly, or not at all. Some media outlets, including the Associated Press and VT Digger, made multiple attempts to enter the website, only to have it fail to open. The Vermont Department of Health Access operates the exchange, part of the federal Affordable Care Act overhaul. Commissioner Mark Larson would prefer there were no website issues, but is pleased Vermonters have access to the marketplace.

Vermont Public Interest Research Group Consumer Protection Advocate Falco Schilling believes any time a massive technology undertaking such as the health care exchange rolls out, glitches are to be expected.

Commissioner Larson reports that by late Wednesday more than 20,000 unique visitors and more than 1,200 people had created accounts.

Vermont Campaign for Health Care Security Executive Director Peter Sterling believes many of the people checking out Vermont Health Connect are seeking information rather than enrolling in specific plans.

Coverage begins on January 1, 2014. Open enrollment in the exchange ends on March 31, 2014.

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