Vermont board begins review of rates under exchange

The board overseeing efforts to overhaul Vermont’s health insurance system said Monday it has begun reviewing the rates customers will be expected to pay under the Vermont Health Connect exchange.

The Green Mountain Care Board has received recommendations from the Department of Financial Regulation on the proposed rates to be offered by insurers Blue Cross Blue Shield and MVP, and is expected to set the rates by July 8.

Details of the proposed rates are posted on GMCB’s website: , and a public comment period is open until 5 p.m. next Monday, June 17.

The board also has set two public hearings on the rates at the Statehouse next week. MVP rates will be discussed from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Blue Cross rates from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday.

“The rates translate into the premiums many Vermonters will pay for health insurance when the Exchange goes live on January 1, 2014,” the Green Mountain Care Board said in a statement. “The Exchange will serve about 100,000 Vermonters who obtain insurance through employers with fewer than 50 employees or obtain coverage on their own, without employer support.”

Vermont’s version of the exchange — called Vermont Health Connect — will be the marketplace for individuals, families, and small businesses to buy health insurance. Consumers will use the system to determine their own eligibility, compare the different health insurance plans on offer or enroll in a public plan, and get tax credits and other financial help.

Vermont Health Connect is set to begin operations on Oct. 1, with coverages obtained under it taking effect in January.

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