Local News

State officials explore alternative to Vt. Health Connect

By Anne Galloway, www.VTDigger.org

Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott led a mini fact-finding mission on Monday to learn more about components of the Connecticut health care exchange that could help Vermont save money.

The cost of fixing the dysfunctional Vermont Health Connect website will be roughly $200 million and maintaining it on an annual basis will be about $51 million a year.

Scott brought along senators Tim Ashe and Jane Kitchel for an exploratory meeting with Connecticut officials, who recently helped Maryland save money on its exchange. Scott, Ashe and Kitchel are interested in exploring a regional effort to improve Vermont’s exchange.

“I was thinking about whether there could be another avenue we could take if our exchange doesn’t meet expectations,” Scott said. “Maybe there’s another approach rather than the federal system. Maybe there’s a way to work with other states.”

There is interest from the Shumlin administration in exploring the Connecticut model further.

Governor Peter Shumlin last month said he will pull the plug on the customized website if contractors can’t develop proper functionality by deadlines at the end of May and in October.

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