NMC Commentary

Could I Save Money in Vermont Health Connect?

Yes, if you have health insurance through Vermont Health Connect, taking the time to actively renew your plan rather than relying on auto-renew may save you money this year.  Vermont Health Connect says, “Existing members who want to stay in the same plan can simply continue to pay their bills on time and will be automatically renewed into the 2018 version of their current plan.  But this path is not recommended this year! If members choose to auto-renew, then they risk paying much more than they need to.” Open enrollment in Vermont Health Connect is available through December 15, 2018, so there is still time to check your options and see which coverage is best for you.  To see what your options are, visit VermontHealthConnect.gov or call (855) 899-9600 to get started.

Vermont Health Connect says, “Subsidized members will receive about $100 more in premium subsidies each month than they received in 2018” and they explain this is due the increase in the premiums for Silver plans “increasing significantly.”  They go on to encourage you to take a close look at options, even if you have looked at coverage plans before.  “Vermonters who don’t have insurance because they thought it was unaffordable in past years are strongly encouraged to check again. With the increased subsidies, many will find that they qualify for at least one zero premium plan.”

For most Vermonters, there are now at least 26 options available through Vermont Health Connect.  While that may sound like a lot to consider, there is help available. They provide a “Plan Comparison Tool” on their website that allows you to screen the available options.  You can “compare total costs in an average year or bad year, view doctor directories and drug lists, and much more.” This year’s version of the comparison tool also provides “the ability to see the total costs of each plan option in a low-use year” and it calculates of someone with their age and health status having a ‘low-use’ year.

If you do not have health insurance or if you have your health insurance through Vermont Health Connect, please explore your options again this year, as you may save money.  The VermontHealthConnect.gov website is a great resource and you can get assistance over the telephone at (855) 899-9600. Both Champlain Valley Office of Equal Opportunity (CVOEO at 527-7392) and NMC (524-1006) have staff trained to assist in the process as well.  Open enrollment is available through December 15, 2018, so the time to act is now!

— Jill Berry Bowen, RN, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer