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Vt. Health Connect phone line closed for town meeting - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. Health Connect phone line closed for town meeting

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

After months in the making, consumers can finally make online payments on Vermont Health Connect's website, but you may have a tough time getting your questions answered on this day.

Health Connect's call center was closed on Tuesday in observance of Town Meeting Day.

Their message said, "We are currently closed in observance of the holiday... thank you for calling Vermont Health Connect, goodbye."

Gov. Peter Shumlin said Town Meeting Day is a state-sanctioned holiday and though he was pleased with Health Connect's progress, there was not much to be done to keep the call center open Tuesday.

"Listen, all I can tell you is that we're no different than every other service in state government. If people are on holiday, they're on holiday. Those are contractually required under contract with the union," said Shumlin.

Vermont Health Connect opponent Darcie Johnston says the timing of the call center closing doesn't make sense, right on the heels of Monday's announcement that the payment function was up and running.

"I was quite surprised. I think from a business strategy and marketing strategy you announce this big news yesterday and then not to be open today, it seems very odd," said Johnston.

Open enrollment for Vermont Health Connect ends March 31 and ends March 15 for those whose old insurance covered them through March 2014.

"It just seems that when you have a limited number of days left in this open season, you need every day, every moment possible to sign up," said Johnston.

State officials say they put a message up on the site Monday to notify users of the call center closure and that the site is still fully functioning for people to enroll and make payments. The phone line will be available starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

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Vt. Health Connect ready for online payments

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