Health Care

Access to VHC difficult for navigators and patients alike

Vermont Health Connect feature

About 70 navigators have had trouble accessing their Vermont Health Connect accounts since the start of open enrollment earlier this month. Many people rely on navigators to complete the enrollment process or make changes to their coverage.

Gruber fired in NC

MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber is a consultant on Vermont's examination of a publicly financed health care system. Courtesy photo

North Carolina hired Gruber to analyze federal data as part of a study in the use of managed care programs. His comments about the Affordable Care Act have led some to question whether he believes in a transparent political process.

‘Cadillac’ health plan tax expected to cost state $9 million to start

Whether or not teachers and school employees will participate in the health benefit exchange is still in question. VTD/Josh Larkin

A federal excise tax on generous health insurance plans held by teachers and state workers will cost Vermont millions unless changes are made.

Hundreds of MVP customers on the health exchange are billed past due

Vermont Health Connect feature

Trinka Kerr’s office has recently taken numerous calls from outraged consumers who have received collections notices from MVP Health Care, one of two carriers participating in the exchange. MVP covers less than 10 percent of the 32,000 plans sold on through the exchange’s individual market.

Republicans request records of Gruber’s work for Vermont

MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber is a consultant on Vermont's examination of a publicly financed health care system. Courtesy photo

GOP lawmakers are seeking public records related to health care economist Jonathan Gruber’s work for the Shumlin Administration. They cite a need for transparency, given Gruber’s past remarks about health care politics.

Vermont health officials monitoring two who visited West Africa

Tracy Dolan, acting Health Commissioner, joined Gov. Peter Shumlin on Tuesday at a news conference regarding a person who is under quarantine after returning from West Africa, where the deadly Ebola virus has claimed nearly 5,000 lives. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

Two people who recently returned to Vermont from Ebola-stricken West Africa are about to complete a 21-day monitoring period, health officials said Thursday. They were not held in quarantine and do not have symptoms of the disease.

Gruber agrees to take pay cut for single-payer work

MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber is a consultant on Vermont's examination of a publicly financed health care system. Courtesy photo

The state will make no further payments to Jonathan Gruber, following the recent discovery of controversial remarks by the health care consultant. Gruber’s team will be paid to finish work on a single-payer health care system.

Lessons learned from Vermont Health Connect lead to oversight changes for next major IT project 

Dr. Harry Chen, interim Secretary of Human Services, and Lawrence Miller, chief of health care reform. VTDigger photo by Morgan True.

In light of its troubles with IT contracts for Vermont Health Connect, the state is changing its oversight structure for the next massive project, an overhaul of Human Services information technology.

It’s too late to fire MIT economist, Shumlin says

Photo of William Hsiao and Jonathon Gruber.

Gov. Peter Shumlin said despite a series of disparaging remarks made by state-hired economist Jonathan Gruber, his expertise is needed to complete projections of the impact of a publicly funded health care system.

VHC open enrollment off to a smooth start

Vermont Health Connect feature

The exchange’s application questions and user interface, which tripped up thousands of applicants last year, are much improved, according to state officials, and should create less problems going forward.

Rutland man released after 21-day Ebola quarantine

The Ebola virus. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Peter Italia has found temporary housing after his release Monday from a voluntary quarantine after he returned to Vermont from Ebola-stricken West Africa. He never showed symptoms of the disease.

Campaign for Vermont, GOP lawmakers join call for Gruber’s termination

Critics of the governor’s health care reform plans seized on the impolitic remarks of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber on Monday, urging the Shumlin administration to terminate his contract with the state. The policy advocacy group Campaign for Vermont has started a petition demanding that Gruber’s $400,000 economic modeling contract for the state’s planned single-payer program […]

Critics demand dismissal of Jonathan Gruber, the Shumlin administration’s health care analyst

Photo of William Hsiao and Jonathon Gruber.

Conservatives are holding up remarks made a year ago as proof that Jonathan Gruber, who bills himself as an architect of the Affordable Care Act, intentionally misled the American public when he worked for the Obama administration. In a video clip, Gruber says a “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage” in getting legislation passed.

Vermont Health Connect relaunch is working, Miller says

The state’s health insurance website, Vermont Health Connect, is up and running again. On Saturday, the first day of enrollment, the site, which has been plagued by glitches, was working, according to Lawrence Miller, the Shumlin administration’s health care reform guru. “We have not had any problems reported to today,” Miller said on Sunday. The […]

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