State News

Many will see lower Vt. Health Connect rates

November marks the beginning of the three-month open enrollment window

Many Vermonters getting their insurance through the online marketplace will see their monthly health care premiums decrease next year, Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Oct. 29. The open enrollment period is a once-a-year opportunity for Vermonters using VHC to reevaluate their health care needs and change plans if they wish. It is also a time for Vermonters without health insurance to sign up.

Following the launch of VHC, Vermont cut its uninsured rate nearly in half  to 3.7 percent, covering an additional 20,000 people and giving Vermont virtually universal coverage, a long time goal of Gov. Shumlin. Vermont now has the lowest uninsured rate in America.

Monthly premiums kept low

Many Vermonters are set to see their health insurance costs decrease in 2016 because the rate increases of many health insurance plans have been kept lower than the increase in available subsidies. For example, a couple earning $50,000 is paying $455 per month for a Standard Silver plan this year. Next year, that couple will save about $20 per month or $240 per year for the same plan. On the individual side, someone earning $30,000 per year currently pays around $197 per month for a Standard Silver plan. Next year they will save about $10 per month or $120 per year for that same plan.

A rate decrease will be the norm for most Vermonters receiving a subsidy. Nearly two out of three (65 percent) of Vermonters using VHC receive a subsidy. For these customers, 14 out of 20 VHC health plans will see a net premium decrease in 2016.

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