BERLIN, VT. – Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) is offering in-person assistance to community members enrolling in Vermont Health Connect, the state’s health insurance marketplace.
The enrollment period, Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, is shorter than in years past, highlighting the importance of planning ahead and acting quickly. Enrolling members will have a coverage start date of Jan. 1, 2018.
Residents can start the enrollment process by completing the 2018 Plan Comparison Tool at www.vt.checkbookhealth.org. The tool reviews which medical plan is best for individuals and families, estimates costs and identifies financial assistance available.
For additional enrollment assistance, CVMC will provide in-person assisters at locations in Barre and Montpelier, as well as at the hospital campus. In-person assisters are professionals trained and certified by the Department of Vermont Health Access to help residents enroll and maintain health coverage through Vermont Health Connect or Green Mountain Care. They can help residents select the most economical plans for their families.
One-hour appointments with CVMC assisters can be scheduled at CVMC, Adult Primary Care -Barre and Integrative Family Medicine - Montpelier during the six-week enrollment period. To schedule an appointment, first complete the comparison tool, then email CVMC at PatientNavigator@cvmc.org or call financial counseling directly at 802-371-4398.
Assisters are available to help any community member in CVMC’s service area, which includes Washington County and surrounding areas. You do not need to be a current CVMC patient to take advantage of the service.
More about open enrollment
Open enrollment is the annual period when new applicants can use the healthcare marketplace to sign up for health and dental plans for the coming year. It is also the time that existing members have the option to change plans. Existing members who want to stay in the same plan can simply continue paying their bills on time and will automatically be renewed into the 2018 version of their current plan.
Vermonters who qualify for subsidies can sign up with Vermont Health Connect either online at portal.healthconnect.vermont.gov, by phone at 855-899-9600, or with one of more than 150 in-person assisters across the state.
Vermonters who don’t qualify for subsidies can streamline the process by directly enrolling with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) or MVP Health Care (MVP) and establishing a single point-of-contact with their insurance carrier.
Most Vermonters will find 24 options for qualified health plans, including four new plans from BCBSVT and MVP, as well as dental plans from Northeast Delta Dental (NEDD). Vermonters under age 30 have the option of choosing a catastrophic plan from either carrier in addition to the 24 other options.
More than 75 percent of Vermont Health Connect members find they qualify for subsidies to lower the cost of insurance, with the average individual expected to receive $395 per month toward the 2018 insurance plan of their choice.
For most uninsured Vermonters, it is less expensive to buy health insurance and gain health care than to pay the federal fee for being uninsured and risk the immense costs that can come from an accident or unexpected illness.
Vermonters who miss the Dec. 15 deadline may have to wait until January 2019 to start health coverage, although those who qualify for Medicaid can sign up throughout the year and those who qualify for a special enrollment period generally have 60 days to register.
Mark your calendar
- Nov. 1 – First day to sign up for 2018 health coverage
- Nov. 9 – Open enrollment webinars with Department of Vermont Health Access staff and representatives from all three insurance carriers (recordings will then be posted online)
- Dec. 15 – Last day for individuals to sign up and confirm a qualified health plan
- Dec. 26 – January 2018 premiums due