Businesses still locked out of Vt. Health Connect - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Businesses still locked out of Vt. Health Connect

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Vermont's health reform chief says small businesses will be locked out of the online insurance marketplace-- Vermont Health Connect-- for another year.

Lawrence Miller told legislators Thursday that given problems with other elements of the site, no attempt will be made to make it business-friendly before open enrollment period begins Nov. 15.

Last year the administration allowed businesses to sign up their employees directly through insurers when website enrollment would not work.

Miller says given the success of the work-around it makes more sense to focus on must-have fixes over nice changes.

"Made the decision to say look, direct enrollment with the carriers works, do that, take the pressure off dates, dates are great as a contract tool, they're lousy as a project outcome," said Miller.

Miller did say that a new contractor, Optum Health Services, has been working since the beginning of the week.

The company is tasked with helping to clear a back log of more than 10,000 requested changes to individual policies.

Miller says every state is facing a similar problem but believes a solution is weeks, not months away.

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