Insurers worry about troubles with Vt. Health Connect - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Insurers worry about troubles with Vt. Health Connect

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

The witness chair in the House Health Care Committee will become a familiar seat for those working closest with Vermont Health Connect.

The buggy rollout of the state's online insurance marketplace led legislators to request weekly meetings with both administrators and insurance carriers this year.

"We remain unsettled with large populations moving into a system that's not fully-tested and completed," said Kevin Goddard of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Spokespeople for Blue Cross Blue Shield and MVP Health Care say the website needs to pass several tests by late-January and mid-February respectively in order to be ready April 1. That's the new deadline for about 40,000 people who extended old coverage to enroll through the exchange. Carriers rang similar alarms prior to the botched October launch.

"So we are working very closely with the department to understand their assessment of where Vermont Health Connect with the functionality that will be required for April first," Goddard said.

Earlier in the meeting, consumer advocates told legislators the most common complaints from users are trouble with invoices, delayed payment processing and difficulty contacting customer service representatives at Vermont Health Connect.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says he can't guarantee the site will be ready by April because contractors have missed every deadline before. But he will promise this: "Vermonters don't lose coverage, that we get through this thing and that we'll have a good website up and running in the foreseeable future."

Carriers also complained that Vermont Health Connect is not sending paid customer details to them as soon as they are processed, but is instead sending the data in batches.

They said they aren't aware of any testing currently underway though the governor says it has begun.

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