State Falls Short Of Exchange Enrollment Goal
The state hoped to have 65,000 Vermonters enrolled in new health insurance plans by Dec. 23, but fell short by 13,000.
According to numbers from the Department of Vermont Health Access, 52,000 Vermonters were enrolled in Vermont Health Connect plans as of last week. The majority, though, did not choose their plans through the exchange.
Emily Yahr, a spokeswoman for the Department of Vermont Health Access, said by email that 22,600 Vermonters used Vermont Health Connect to enroll in a new health care plan. About 29,200 more Vermonters are now insured through their employers on plans offered on the exchange, but the employers enrolled directly through the carrier, bypassing the troubled exchange.
Yahr said in the email that state officials are still “confident that Vermonters won’t see a lapse in coverage.” That is largely due to safeguards implemented when it became clear the exchange wasn’t working as planned.
“For many Vermonters who did not act in November, their current plan will be extended for up to three months,” into March 2014, Yahr said.
Meanwhile, officials are looking forward toward the new year, when insurance coverage purchased through the exchange will have to reimburse care providers. The Associated Press reports:
Officials at Vermont's largest hospital say it will be at least 30 days before they know how smoothly it will go for people to move to the new health insurance system. Billing officials at Burlington's Fletcher Allen Health Care say they're anticipating some bumps, especially from patients who have enrolled through the Vermont Health Connect system, but have not yet received their insurance cards. Wednesday marks the first day the health insurance provided through Vermont Health Connect will provide benefits. At least 20,000 people have signed up for policies. Fletcher Allen's registration director Shannon Lonergan says for patients who have enrolled in the new system, but have not received their cards, they will hold on to bills for a few days before submitting them for payment.