Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Major Healthcare Forum Explains the New VT Health Exchange Sept. 10 in Ludlow

On Tuesday, September 10, at 6:30 PM, in the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium, FOLA (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium) and the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce will jointly sponsor an important healthcare forum dealing with the new laws effecting healthcare in Vermont. The forum, open to small businesses and individuals, will be conducted by Vermont Health Connect. Below is a summary prepared by Vermont Health Connect.
“Vermont Health Connect will be a marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses in Vermont can compare public and private health plans and select one that fits their needs and budget.

Every plan offered through Vermont Health Connect must offer basic services. This includes checkups, emergency care, mental health services and prescriptions. Beginning in October 2013, Vermont Health Connect will offer easy-to-understand, side-by-side comparisons of each plan’s costs and benefits. Vermont Health Connect will simplify the health insurance world for many Vermonters by serving as the one place to access public programs and financial assistance, such as federal tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies.

Online, Vermonters will find all the Vermont Health Connect information they need. For those who are uncomfortable with the internet or want personal assistance selecting a health plan they can call the Customer Support Center or contact a Navigator.

Individuals, families and small businesses in Vermont will get their health coverage through Vermont Health Connect. This includes:

• Vermonters who do not have health insurance
• Vermonters who currently purchase insurance for themselves
• Vermonters who have Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur
• Vermonters who currently have Catamount or Vermont Health Access Program
• Vermonters who are offered “unaffordable” coverage by their employers
• Small businesses in Vermont that provide coverage for their employees

Starting in 2014, many Vermonters will be eligible for tax credits and other forms of financial assistance to help pay for the cost of health care.

Also, small businesses with 50 or fewer employees will be able to use Vermont Health Connect to find coverage for their employees. In 2016, small businesses will include businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

Vermonters will be able to start using Vermont Health Connect in late 2013. The first open enrollment period will run from October 2013 to March 2014. For those who enroll by December 15, 2013, health coverage will start January 1, 2014. Starting in 2014, Vermont Health Connect will be the one place where individuals and small businesses in Vermont can get health insurance.

Small businesses who currently offer health insurance will be able to browse Vermont Health Connect starting October 2013, but their open enrollment date will vary depending on the anniversary date of their current health insurance plan. Small businesses will have 30 days prior to that anniversary date to enroll their employees through Vermont Health Connect.”

For information, call 802-228-7239 or 802-228-5830; information will also be posted at


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