Read what state leaders and others have to say about Green Mountain Care and the coverage it’s providing to uninsured Vermonters.
For media inquiries, please contact Sean Sheehan at (802) 585-6339 or email@example.com.
Health Care Options
The Times Ink, November, 2010
By Christine Werneke
Born and raised in Vermont, I have a special appreciation for the small business person. My father left IBM over twenty years ago to start his own business and he is still going strong. This small business put food on our table and helped put me through college. And it is the small businesses that help make Richmond a great community in which to live and work. Full Text
Health Insurance Options for the Self-Employed
The Hinesburg Record, October 21, 2010
By Steve Gladstone
In these tough economic times many people have made the choice to go into business for themselves. As someone who made this choice I can relate to the concerns and doubts that one must address before you make the leap. One of the biggest issues that you must address is how to find affordable health care. If your coverage is no longer supplied through your employer you must go out into the market and find your own solution. I am here to report that thanks to the efforts of State of Vermont there are solutions available that are accessible and affordable for the average family. Full Text
Don’t let health insurance fears deter entrepreneurship
The Charoltte Citizen, September 30, 2010
By Rachel Carter
When I set out to start my own business in Vermont, the number one roadblock for me was health insurance. What happens if I get sick? How can I afford such high prices through an association such as a Chamber of Commerce when I can barely make ends meet as it is? There are so many fears associated with starting a business, but I wanted to do it so badly I was prepared to overlook my health for the time being because I felt so strongly (and still do!) that creating my own path and manifesting my own future was only possible by taking control of my career by starting a business. Full Text
Besio: How the federal health care reform bill will affect Vermont
By Anne Galloway on June 14, 2010
Editor’s note: This oped is by Susan W. Besio, Ph.D., the director of the Office of Vermont Health Access.
On March 23, 2010, federal health care reform known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. The law will be phased in over the next five years, with some changes retroactive to January, 2010. This article is the first in a series on how federal reforms will dovetail with existing programs in Vermont.
Vermonters can be proud of the fact that numerous consumer protections found in the new law have been in place in our state for several years. Many states are scrambling to develop plans like those we offer under Green Mountain Care (See below).
Many Vermonters – both insured and uninsured – are unclear about how the new health reform law changes will affect them. There is much good news in this law. The first real impact is changes to how private insurance works for young adults.
So what does this new law mean to you if you just graduated, are no longer a full-time student in high school or college, or you became 19 years of age? Starting Sept. 23, the new federal law will require that health plans begin the process of allowing young adults up to age 26 to continue to be covered on their parents’ plans if they so choose.
The start date varies depending upon when your family plan renews after Sept. 23, 2010. For many people the renewal date will occur Jan. 1, 2011. For others it could take up to a year. Even before the law takes effect, some plans are allowing dependents under age 26, who are currently on their parents’ plan, to remain on their parents’ plans. Check with you or your parent’s health plan to learn how this provision affects you and go to www.GreenMountainCare.org/updates for more information.
And this website also has important information for all Vermonters who are uninsured. Over 47,000 Vermonters lack health insurance and half of these individuals are eligible for health insurance under Green Mountain Care, but are not enrolled.
Green Mountain Care is a family of low-cost and free health coverage programs for uninsured Vermonters offered by the state of Vermont and its partners. Green Mountain Care includes plans such as Catamount Health, Vermont Health Access Plan, Dr. Dynasaur, Medicaid, and a number of pharmacy assistance and premium assistance programs. Plan eligibility and cost is based on household size and income. Typically there is a 12-month waiting period for these plans, but there are exceptions.
Green Mountain Care Plans
1. Catamount Health Plan – There is no upper income limit for Catamount but Vermonters earning roughly $20,000 to $32,000 may be eligible for premium assistance. Catamount Health is offered through BlueCross BlueShield or MVP Health Care. However, premium assistance to help pay for Catamount is available through Green Mountain Care making premiums as low as $60 per month. If you think you may be eligible for premium assistance start by applying through Green Mountain Care.
2. Premium Assistance for Employer-Sponsored Insurance Premium Assistance is also for Vermonters earning around $20,000 to $32,000 per year. If you have access to insurance at work, but are not yet enrolled you may be eligible for assistance to help you pay for insurance at work, making your premium as low as $60 per month. If you think you may be eligible for premium assistance, start by applying through Green Mountain Care.
3. Vermont Health Access Plan is for Vermonters earning around $20,000 or less per year, and the cost is $50 or less per month.
4. If you are age 21 and older, the state does not consider your parents’ income when determining your eligibility for these plans even if you live at home. If you are under 21, and need information about how your income is calculated, call 1-800-250-8427 or visit www.GreenMountainCare.org. A helpful screening tool is available to point you to the application that is right for you.
5. Green Mountain Care also has several prescription assistance programs as well as plans for children, teenagers, pregnant women and people with disabilities.
As we continue to learn more about how federal health care reform will impact Vermonters we will bring this information to you and your communities. With over 47,000 of our friends and neighbors living without health insurance, there is more work to be done because the state of Vermont believes every Vermonter should have access to the coverage they need to stay healthy.
Affordable Options for the Uninsured
Official Website for Jim Douglas, November 21, 2007
By Governor Jim Douglas
Over the last several years of working to expand affordable health coverage in our state, it has been my privilege to work with a remarkable, focused coalition of Vermonters who share my commitment to making health care accessible to everyone.
Many of us spent countless hours working on the passage and implementation of the 2006 Health Care Affordability Act—a landmark health care bill that focuses on containing health care costs for everyone in our state and insuring the uninsured. The passing of this bill, containing the most far reaching health care reforms in the country, was a major step forward for our state. It also demonstrated that when we come together, in a bipartisan manner, we can make a real difference in the everyday life of Vermonters. Full Text
Why Vermont is the healthiest state
Burlington Free Press, November 15, 2007
By Sharon Moffatt, Vermont commissioner of health
Vermont is the healthiest state, according to the 2007 edition of America’s Health Rankings. Vermonters should be proud of this achievement. But it’s worth examining these rankings closely to determine what it really means. Why is our state’s population the healthiest when the U.S. is experiencing more obesity, more uninsured people, more children in poverty, and persistent tobacco use and violent crime?
America’s Health Rankings: A Call to Action for People & Their Communities is the 18th edition of the annual report by the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association, and Partnership for Prevention – all leaders in public health and national health analysis. Vermont moved up, from 16th in 1990 to second in 2006 to its current lead position, ranking among the top 10 healthiest states in 14 of 20 health measures.
Editorial: Catamount is just the beginning
Rutland Herald, November 4, 2007
Some Vermonters previously without health insurance began to receive coverage on Nov. 1 when the state's new Catamount Health program went into effect.
The program received a celebratory kickoff on Thursday with Gov. James Douglas and other officials gathering in Rutland to mark the day. But Vermont's new health care initiative involves more than Catamount. Full Text
It's time to sign up for health care
Rutland Herald, August 23, 2007
By Karen Glade, RN
It seems that too many of us have the high price of health care on our minds.
In Vermont more than 60,000 of our friends, co-workers and neighbors are currently uninsured. Here in Rutland County, more than 5,600 people do not have health insurance. Thousands more of our neighbors throughout Vermont have insurance, but can only afford high $2,000, $5,000 and even $10,000 deductible "catastrophic" plans, many of which offer no hospitalization or primary care coverage. Of those who qualify for VHAP or other Vermont Medicaid programs, roughly 51 percent have not taken advantage of this coverage.
As a first step to alleviate this crisis gripping Vermonters (and indirectly, Vermont business owners), in May 2006 the Vermont Legislature created the Catamount Health Plan. You are eligible for Catamount Health if you are uninsured or have insurance that only provides hospital care or doctors' visits (but not both) or if you have not had insurance for the past 12 months. If you had health insurance but lost it due to voluntary loss of job, divorce, high school or college graduation, or reaching the end of your COBRA coverage, you are eligible. Full Text
With reform program, Vermont faces up to health care realities
Rutland Herald and Times Argus, June 10, 2007
By Rep. Harry Chen
Health care policymakers around the country are paying attention to a recently published study, "Mirror Mirror On The Wall: An International Update On the Comparative Performance of American Health Care," updating the original report published in 2004 by the Commonwealth Fund. As in 2004, the United States fared last when compared to Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The United States was last in access to care, patient safety, efficiency and equity. Most discouraging is that we failed to achieve better health outcomes despite spending twice as much per capita.
Last year the Vermont Legislature passed the Health Care Reform Acts of 2006, a landmark step in health care reform. All told there were more than 30 initiatives that together will transform our health care system for every Vermonter. This year the important work continues with technical adjustments to ensure success and extensive preparation for the roll out of Catamount Health this fall. This summer and fall we will begin taking on the major challenge of figuring out how to expand coverage and limit costs for the thousands of Vermonters who pay too much for their insurance and yet are under-insured. Full Text (Subscription Required)