Enrollment open through Dec. 15 for Vermont Health Connect
Last Friday marked the first day of open enrollment for Vermont Health Connect (VHC). Now through December 15, Vermonters who don’t have or can’t afford health insurance through their employer can sign up for or make changes to an existing plan.
“If you have an insurance plan this year, you should receive notification that it’s time to renew or make changes to your plan” said Gina O’Meara, Community Health Worker and VHC Navigator at Community Connections in St. Johnsbury.
Some people may notice slight changes to their deductible and/or out-of-pocket limit, O’Meara said. Deductibles are the amount of money you could owe for covered healthcare services before your plan begins to pay, according to healthcare.gov. An out-of-pocket limit is the most you could pay during a coverage period for your portion of the costs of covered services.
According to O’Meara, other changes to health plans in 2020 Vermonters should be aware of include
- Some plans lowered co-pays for chiropractic and/or physical therapy visits. (A co-pay is a fixed amount you pay for a covered healthcare service, usually when you receive the service, according to healthcare.gov.)
- Enhanced wellness programs may be included in some plans.
- Child-only dental plans are now available for children under the age of 21. These plans do not require an adult to also enroll in the plan.
- The affordability threshold for health insurance offered through employers was lowered to 9.78 percent. This means that if an employee’s premium contribution exceeds 9.78 percent of the employee’s household income, the coverage is considered unaffordable and the employee has the option to enroll in a plan through VHC. Affected individuals will receive a notice in the mail.
For questions or help signing up for a health plan, you have a few options:
- go online to https://portal.healthconnect.vermont.gov;
- call the toll-free hotline at 1-855-899-9600, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m.;
- or make an in-person appointment with an assister.
Here’s where you can find in-person assistance:
|Caledonia||Northern Counties Health Care||165 Sherman Dr., St Johnsbury, VT 05819||802-748-9405|
|Caledonia||Community Connections at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital||55 Sherman Dr., St. Johnsbury, VT 05819||802-748-7526|
|Caledonia||Community Restorative Justice Center, Inc.||576 Railroad Street, Suite 2, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819||802-748-2977|
|North Country Hospital||189 Prouty Dr., Newport, VT 05855||802-334-7331|
|Indian Stream Health Center||253 Gale St, PO Box 211, Canaan, VT||802-266-3340|
For help with problems and question related to healthcare services and insurance, you can also contact the Vermont Legal Aid Office of the Health Care Advocate at 1-800-917-7787.