Betsy Bishop and staff at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce spent much of the year on the phone, convincing business operators to bring their insurance business to the state's online marketplace. But now, they're calling back to let them know the plans they picked won't be available Jan. 1 because of bugs and delays.
"And we're having a bit of trouble convincing people to come off their decision. They're saying to us now we want to stay with Vermont Health Connect, which is great but there's no way for that payment mechanism to work," Bishop said.
Bishop says complete numbers aren't available. But of the 3,500 formerly enrolled in the Chamber's health plan, 650 will need to rework offerings after Monday's announcement. There may be more; 40 percent of the plan holders did not respond to Chamber mailings. Along with commercial businesses, at least 40 municipal entities must crunch the coverage numbers again.
"It was those communities that had really stuck with the process all the way to the unfortunately now bitter end," said Steve Jeffrey of the Vt. League of Cities and Towns.
Jeffrey says some will pay more, others less by continuing their existing coverage. That's true for both the employer and the employee. He suggests reopening direct enrollment through carriers for Jan. 1 coverage, which closed last week prior to the announcement.
That option is still open to some but not all.
Chamber spokespeople want more-- the ability to keep current plans through the end of 2014. That would grant insurers, employers, employees, administrators, unions, and municipal entities time to sort out the rules without deadlines constantly looming.
The businesses affected by this are generally those that put substantial amounts of time and energy into making the Health Connect site work-- multiple hours a week as opposed to the hour a year Chamber officials say is typical.
I spoke with a municipal administrator Wednesday who told me she spent an hour waiting on hold to withdraw the town's application, allowing them to enroll in the desired plan through a carrier.
Business operators that chose to offer through Health Connect will have current plans extended for three months if they do nothing.
Thursday, April 17 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:52:21 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:01:29 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:01 GMT
A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington. Police say Grace Maddaloni, 88, disappeared Wednesday after what they called a "disagreement." Because of her age and being in theMore >>
A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:22 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:22:30 GMT
Financial problems in the Burlington School District continue to mount and now the school board is silencing the superintendent. On Wednesday the district announced it is in trouble with the InternalMore >>
Financial problems in the Burlington School District continue to mount and now the school board is silencing the superintendent.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:04:45 GMT
Darn Tough appears to be making a darn good profit. The high-end sock manufacturer out of Northfield reports the first quarter of this year was its best ever, with revenues up almost 80 percent over theMore >>
Vermont sock manufacturer Darn Tough reports the first quarter of this year was its best ever.More >>