Shumlin Invokes Waiver, But Thousands of Vermonters Are Still At Risk

Vermonters for Health Care Freedom Calls for a One Year Extension to Protect All Vermonters

Thirty days after Vermonters for Health Care Freedom first called on Governor Shumlin to issue an Exchange waiver so Vermonters would not lose or have a lapse in their insurance – the Governor finally acted. However, on Friday we learned that Vermonters are still at risk for not having affordable health insurance in 2014. Why? Because Vermonters wanting to extend their current health care plan may face double annual deductibles – one for first three months in 2014 and another for the remaining months of 2014.- increasing their out of pocket costs. .

Today, Vermonters for Health Care Freedom is calling for a one year extension of the Vermont law requiring all individual and small groups to purchase through the Exchange.. A one year extension will provide relief and certainty to insurers and Vermonters purchasing insurance. Most importantly, it will give Governor Shumlin the time that Vermont Health Connect needs to fix and properly test VHC so that it works smoothly for all Vermonters in 2015,” said Darcie Johnston.

“With a one year extension, individual Vermonters, small businesses and insurers can take a deep breath. This will bring certainty and stability in the marketplace. Health care insurance will be available to all Vermonters in the individual or small business market. Insurance that is affordable. Not unaffordable exchange insurance that provides for less care at greater cost to individuals and small businesses.

Governor Shumlin promised to reduce the cost of health care insurance. Unlike President Obama, Governor Shumlin has the opportunity to allow all Vermonters to keep their insurance coverage by extending individual, small employer association group plans and VACE insurance coverage for one year.

Governor Shumlin’s Vermont Health Connect web site failed. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted. Now it is time for Governor Shumlin to do the right thing by Vermonters and extend the Individual, association and VACE plans for one year. Otherwise thousands of Vermonters will be uninsured in January 2014,” concluded Johnston.