At Issue: Health Care 101, Part 2 -- Plan Levels - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

At Issue: Health Care 101, Part 2 -- Plan Levels

Posted: Updated:
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Vermont Health Connect launched its online marketplace Tuesday, where tens of thousands of Vermonters will be required to purchase a plan under the new health care law.

"It makes it easier for Vermonters to compare plans side by side, with apples to apples comparisons," says Vermont Health Access Commissioner Mark Larson. "Which takes some of the guesswork out of being able to purchase a plan that fits best for someone and their budget."

Larson likens it to travel websites, cars.com or Amazon, saying people can put in basic information about themselves and what they're looking for to find available options.

"There will be plans available from both Blue Cross/Blue Shield and MVP, and the kinds of information that people tend to look at in their plans are what are their premiums, are there deductibles, what are the deductibles, what are the co-pays for services that I tend to access -- all of that would be displayed very easily on the website," he says.

There are different levels of plans: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The coverage quality and benefits are the same for all levels but the difference is how much consumers will pay through premiums and how high their co-pays and deductibles will be.

It's all measured by the actuarial value -- or AV -- of the plan -- the percent the insurance company is expected to cover for an average person.

For instance at the Platinum Level, 90 percent of the costs are the responsibility of the insurance company, but in return, your monthly payment for your insurance will be higher. For the next level down, in Gold, 80 percent is covered. Silver is 70 percent, and for Bronze plans, which have the least expensive monthly premiums, the insurance company takes on 60 percent of the costs, meaning you will have to pay more for the services you use.

Which plan is best for you depends on what you're looking for from your coverage.

"If I know that I'm only looking for a Bronze plan, I could ask -- show me the Bronze plans. And it would show me exactly what options are available and what the premiums are, and what the co-pays and deductibles would look like," Larson says.

Navigators can help you in your search, but many people are still waiting to find out if they will have to get insurance on their own, or whether their employer will offer it. Companies with 50 employees or fewer are affected, while larger companies and corporations will continue their existing coverage.

"For small businesses who have struggled to provide very comprehensive plans or contribute very much to those plans -- in some cases, their employees will actually be better off purchasing coverage as an individual with financial help," Larson says.

Vermont Health Connect is hoping those businesses will make their decisions this month so employees can use November to pick their plan. For more information, you can visit their website: healthconnect.vermont.gov.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:43:47 GMT
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
  • Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:04 GMT
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
  • Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:21 GMT
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
  • A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:36 GMT
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
  • Gun fired into New Haven home

    Gun fired into New Haven home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:48 GMT
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
  • What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:57:35 GMT
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
  • Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in connection with a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
  • Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:24:36 GMT
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer. More >>
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.