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Business owners speak out about Vermont Health Connect - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Business owners speak out about Vermont Health Connect

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on display there - prepare to change health insurance plans to the new Vermont Health Connect.

"Don't have to manage the health insurance policy for everybody, that part is nice for the owners," says Gary Crowley, owner of Crowley Construction.

Crowley is optimistic the new health care plan can only be good for himself and his employees. "I believe it's going to make it easier for small businesses to give the employees a chance to get the healthcare," he says.

Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.

"We're small business people, and the amount of time we've had to invest in signing up for a new program has been a nuisance. And we're disappointed that for all the effort we've done, to follow the guidelines that we've been required to, we still don't know what our health insurance program for ourselves and our employees is going to be," says Marshall Paulsen, co-owner of Vermont Energy Contracting and Supply.

Paulsen says he began the process to enroll in Vermont Health Connect in the Fall, and it's been slow going. He says once he is enrolled, he's afraid it will hurt his employees and his company.

"Don't know what the costs are going to be, but all the projections we're seeing - is yes, we're going to see an increase in our premiums and an increase in our co-pays for our employees," says Paulsen.

Whether they are supporters or skeptics of Vermont Health Connect - business owners are eager for the enrollment period to end so they know exactly what the costs will be, and how it will affect their company's bottom line.

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