North Country News
6:30 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Vermont Health Exchange Adds Premium Processing

The Department of Vermont Health Access upgraded its health care exchange website this week, enabling it to bill individual and family customers.

The upgrades to Vermont Health Connect began Monday evening to deploy premium processing and payment functions for families and individuals.  While nearly 7,000 Vermonters have selected plans, until those functions were launched, enrollment in the plans could not be completed. Vermont Health Access Commissioner Mark Larson called the new functionality a milestone for the system.  Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin agrees that it is a “huge accomplishment” and notes that credit card payments are planned sometime in the future.

Vermont Public Interest Research Group Consumer Protection Advocate Falko Schilling says while it may appear to be a mundane processing item, it is a big deal for the health care exchange.

Vermont Campaign for Health Care Security Executive Director Peter Sterling says the upgrade makes it easier for consumers to get their health insurance plan processed, as many do now with Catamount Health and private insurance plans.

Vermonters for Health Care Freedom founder and president Darcie Johnston calls the upgrade purely political and a way for the commissioner to show progress, despite what she says is a poorly managed system.

Premium processing and payment functions for small businesses seeking health care coverage through the exchange are still being tested.

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