As you may have heard, changes in federal and state law are changing the way a quarter million Vermonters will access health coverage starting in 2014. Though a new insurance marketplace, called Vermont Health Connect, individuals, families and small businesses will compare public and private health plans and select plans that fit their needs and budget. Vermont Health Connect will allow Vermonters to enroll in Medicaid and Dr. Dynasaur as well as in private health insurance plans.
Construction of Vermont Health Connect is well underway. A small army of State of Vermont employees and contractors are working diligently to create a health insurance marketplace that really meets the needs of Vermonters. Along with this, there is a big push to get the word out about upcoming health reforms, including Vermont Health Connect. At www.vermonthealthconnect.gov you will find a list of upcoming public education events around the state as well as useful information for the Vermonters who will use the marketplace and those who interact with them.
Of course, getting the word out about Vermont Health Connect and helping people enroll is a big job. Later this year Navigators will be on the ground working to educate Vermonters about upcoming health reforms and supporting enrollment (which opens October 1, 2013 and runs through March 31, 2014). There will also be a call center (opening in September) which Vermonters can call with questions or for full enrollment support. In addition, the broker community will continue to help small businesses.
Visit www.vermonthealthconnect.gov to see the Navigator Organization Application that will be released in early April, read FAQs for small businesses and Vermont families, better understand insurance via a basic glossary, and more. Also, join the Vermont Health Connect outreach team for the third Thursday lunchtime webinar series to stay up-to-date—check out the events calendar on www.vermonthealthconnect.gov for details.