"Vermont Health Connect is working as we expected on day one," said Mark Larson, the Vt. health access commissioner.
Vermont administrators touted the health exchange's opening day. About 5,500 unique users visited the page by 2 p.m. and call centers chatted with more than 600 people.
UPDATE: As of 11 a.m. Oct. 2, Vermont Health Connect reports 13,000
unique visitors to the VHC website and just over 780 user accounts
Brenda Badger, 60, of Moretown, decided to speak to a navigator in person to clarify how to report her income. She cashed out a 401(k) last year to cover costs of cancer treatment, but feared that might affect her subsidy eligibility.
"I need something that's going to cover me for those surgeries and you know, not a big deductible because there's no way I would be able to pay that," Badger said.
Navigators showed her how to file based on expected income rather than 2012's tax return, opening up affordable coverage-- though she's not ready to sign up just yet.
Donna Patterson of Middlebury is though. She's headed to Florida for the winter and health coverage is the last item on her to-do list.
"I think I've chosen the golden plan," she said.
Patterson says with subsidies, the plan she picked at Blue Cross Blue Shield Tuesday is a tad cheaper than the coverage she had through Catamount. But the exchange's slow connection speeds prevented her from registering and officially selecting her choice, so she filed the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper.
"As of right now I'm in the system," she said.
Larson says they're also experiencing difficulty with the side-by-side plan comparison feature. But he says considering the size and scope of the project, slowness is a relatively mundane, easily fixed problem.
"We went into day one knowing we would face some challenges and not really knowing what they might be," Larson said. "And we appreciate that these are some areas where we can improve going into day two."
Critics of the exchange say they still haven't seen proof the website actually works.
Despite its online nature, the exchange does have business hours. It will operate between 6 a.m. and midnight daily.
Navigators say the most common questions they got Tuesday were if the federal government's shutdown will have an effect-- the answer is no. People also wanted to know if the shutdown will affect Medicare recipients-- which is also a no. And, of course, what the coverage is going to cost people.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:52:17 GMT
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults. Stowe Police responded to 262 Cady Hill Road at 4:38 p.m. and discovered deceased individuals. The Stowe PoliceMore >>
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:49:04 GMT
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year. What this means, is thatMore >>
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:53:47 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
It was a lifesaving rescue in the nick of time. A Franklin County sheriff's deputy put his life on the line to save a woman trapped in a truck with floodwaters raging around her. More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:00:55 GMT
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin (D-Vermont), VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath. ShumlinMore >>
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin, VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:21:46 GMT
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire. Michael Hayward, 42, of Sunapee, disappeared two months ago. His car was found near the Quechee Gorge. PoliceMore >>
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:14:24 GMT
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. First responders say when they arrived at 42 Smith Street, the house was completely engulfed in flames. CityMore >>
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. Police say the blaze was sparked by a child playing with a lighter.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:07:50 GMT
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they got numerous calls about a young child walking down a road alone. They found the child about a mile from her home. She was brought back to the residence, but the NewMore >>
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they found a young child alone about a mile from her home.More >>