by Andrew Martin
Vermont’s much-talked about health reform is just around the corner, and efforts are beginning to better inform the public about the new Vermont Exchange and Vermont Health Connect. The new system will be launching in October of 2013 and as part of the education efforts around the system an open forum will be held at Johnson State College on Tuesday, April 2, from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.
Vermont Health Connect is the new health insurance marketplace that will be implemented in Vermont. According to the website for Vermont Health Connect the new system 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.”
In order to help educate people about their new impending healthcare system, Robin Lunge, the director of Health Reform for the Agency of Administration, will be hosting the community forum at Johnson State. Topics during the forum will include the insurance market reforms that start in 2014, who can get coverage through the Vermont Exchange, what it will offer, and any financial help available to Vermonters.
Moving forward through 2013 Vermont Health Connect will continue to be designed and modified. The design period will end in September and, in October, the first ‘open enrollment’ period, when Vermonters will be able begin comparing and selecting plans, will begin. This first open enrollment period will run through March 2014, with the health coverage from plans that have been selected going into effect on January 1, 2014. Also starting on that date, Vermont Health Connect will be the only place where individuals and small businesses can get health insurance.
The entire community is invited to the open forum event, which is being held in Room 207 of Bentley Hall at Johnson State. Anyone wishing to learn more about Vermont Health Connect can do so by visiting the site for the system at www.VermontHealthConnect.gov.