Open enrollment for Vermont
Open Enrollment for Vermont’s health insurance market began on November 1 and runs through December 15. This means that now is the time for individuals and families to obtain or change health insurance plans.
Next year, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will turn 10 years old. The law has had its fits and starts, but overall has dramatically expanded coverage and access throughout the U.S. I was privilged to work on passing the ACA, which has become a key piece of our coverage and delivery systems.
Thanks in part to the availability of qualified health plans (QHPs) on Vermont Health Connect—our state’s health insurance marketplace—Vermont’s uninsured rate is just 3.2 percent. While this is something our state should be proud of, it is not true elsewhere: the overall uninsured rate in the U.S. continues to grow. At 13.7 percent, it is creeping up toward the 18 percent mark, where it stood before passage of the ACA.
The medical community can do A LOT to encourage Vermonters to stay or become insured. We know that health care professionals are trusted advisors to the people for whom they care.
Here are a few facts about signing up to use in talking to patients and others about open enrollment:
- Many people qualify for help in paying premiums for QHPs. In fact, some pay no premium at all. To see if they qualify and to receive premium assistance, Vermonters should use Vermont Health Connect’s decision tools.
- Assistors throughout the state can help Vermonters sign up for health plans. They are available at a variety of locations like community health centers—some may work in your organization.
- Individuals must sign up for coverage during the Open Enrollment period of November 1 to December 15. At other times of year, they may still be able to enroll in plans if they lose health coverage or have other qualifying events, but it they delay for more than 60 days applying and selecting their plans, they might have to wait until Open Enrollment to get health insurance.
- Individuals who want to stay on the QHPs they are currently on don’t need to do anything. As long as they keep paying their premiums, they will remain insured.
Thank you for helping to share this important information. The ACA is working—in many ways better than before—but people still need to know how to access its benefits.
President and CEO, VAHHS