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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Technical Problems At Vermont Health Connect Persist

State officials were hoping that a major problem at Vermont’s Health Care exchange would be fixed by this weekend, but that isn’t going to happen.

"We resolve [critical issues] very quickly so that [Vermonters] can access care and we can resolve any urgent issues that they’re experiencing." - DVHA commissioner Mark Larson

Ongoing technical problems are making it impossible for more than 10,000 people to enter new information at their accounts, such as a change in income or marital status. In some cases, this “change of circumstance” can directly affect a the size of person’s premium.

Mark Larson is the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health Access. He says the state has made progress dealing with these technical problems but the bottom line is that the system won’t be operational by the weekend and he isn’t sure when it will be.

“So that when we deploy new functionalities that we are very confident that it’s going to serve Vermonters well and this is a case where we are making sure that we are taking every step we can to believe to know that when it’s deployed it’ll be ready to serve Vermonters,” said Larson.

In the meantime, Larson says his office is manually reviewing the most critical cases.

“We resolve them very quickly so that they can access care and we can resolve any urgent issues that they’re experiencing,”said Larson.

The commissioner says the state plans to bring a new contractor on board in the near future to help resolve the technical problems in this program. This contractor will also work to activate the online premium payment system for small businesses.That’s a function of Vermont Health Connect that has never worked.

Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."
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