Health Care Exchange

When it comes to federal money to help states set up health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, you might expect that California would rank first and New York second. But here's a surprise: Vermont ranks number 3.

A group of health care advocates is urging the Legislature to create a special state subsidy when Vermont's subsidized health care program is shut down in 2014.

That's when the roughly 10,000 residents enrolled in Catamount Health will need to buy their coverage through a newly created market place exchange.

Peter Sterling of the Vermont Campaign for Health Care Security tells Vermont Public Radio he's concerned. He said the federal subsidies that will be available through the exchange are not as good as the existing Catamount coverage.

The state of Vermont is getting a $104.4 million federal grant to continue the process of setting up a health benefits exchange, a key part of state and federal health care reform efforts.

The money will be used to develop information technology, business and outreach operations that will be part of the state's exchange.

Vermont is on target to meet the federal schedule and begin enrolling people in the exchange in October 2013.

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