Vermont has received conditional federal approval for its plan to create a consumer-friendly health insurance exchange.
Vermont is among a number of states that have received word from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that they are compliant with regulations, and have appropriately outlined timelines that will allow them to have a health exchange running by October 1.
Vermont Health Benefit Exchange Deputy Commissioner Lindsey Tucker says the approval is critical to building the state’s exchange, the platform for the state’s universal health care system.
Vermont Medical Society Executive Vice President Paul Harrington says gaining the conditional approval is crucial for health care reform efforts.
The Green Mountain Care Board is an independent body created by the Legislature to contain costs as the state reforms its health care system. Member Con Hogan agrees that the federal approval is an essential step towards exchanges.
The Vermont Medical Society’s Paul Harrington notes that having the exchange will mean virtually all patients will have insurance.
Insurance companies must soon submit bids for what kinds of products they want to offer through the exchange and at what prices.
Vermont ranks third in an Associated Press analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in funding for setting up the new regulated health care exchanges.