State officials reported that nearly 23,000 Vermonters have confirmed a 2018 health plan and qualified for financial help to make the plan more affordable. Total enrollment in qualified health plans is expected to surpass 80,000. This year’s earlier deadline means fewer members will experience gaps in coverage. In past years, nearly 2,000 members missed out on January coverage.
In addition to enrollment numbers, state officials pointed to record usage for the marketplace’s plan comparison tool, which helped individuals and small business employees determine the best plans for their needs and budgets. The tool was used 1,069 times on Dec. 15, nearly a 50 percent increase over the last day of open enrollment last year. Altogether, the 2018 tool hosted more than 23,000 sessions.
The amount of financial help varies by household income, with Vermont Health Connect’s typical individual member having an annual income just over $25,000 and receiving nearly $400 per month toward the 2018 insurance plan of their choice. Couples and families generally receive more.
“We came into this fall with three enrollment goals,” said Cory Gustafson, commissioner of Department of Vermont Health Access. “First, we wanted as many Vermonters as possible to sign up for January coverage and the financial help to make it more affordable. Second, we wanted to encourage members who don’t qualify for financial help to sign up directly with their carrier and establish a single point of contact for managing their account. Third, we wanted everyone to do their homework and make sure they’re in the best plan for their needs and budget.”