November 1 marked the first day Vermonters can sign up for or change to their health and dental plans for 2023. Thanks to a new law that extends financial help through 2025, Vermonters can get lower-cost health plans that cover preventive care like mental health services and annual check-ups.
Vermonters can save money on the amount they pay for plans, called premiums, if they qualify and sign up on the health insurance marketplace. Tens of thousands of Vermonters already use this financial help, called subsidies or federal tax credits, to buy insurance through Vermont Health Connect. This year increased financial help is available through the federal government and more Vermonters who have access to employer health insurance can get this help through the marketplace.
“Vermont has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the country,” said Andrea De La Bruere, Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access. “We at the Department advocated strongly for financial help so that Vermonters can become and stay insured through affordable, accessible health plans.”
Over 90% of people who are enrolled through the health insurance marketplace qualify for financial help. 25% of enrollees pay less than $25 a month for their health plans, and 10% pay less than $10 a month. For plan year 2023, an eligible individual who earns $40,000 a year could get the lowest-cost gold plan for $195 a month – a savings of $699 each month thanks to federal subsidies. A family of four with a household income of $100,000 could get the same plan for $721 a month – a monthly savings of $1,737, or more than $20,000 per year.
“A few years ago, I had Medicaid coverage. When I started earning more money, I no longer qualified,” said Kay Greenwood of Bennington. “This year, I reached out to an assister who helped me find out how much health plans cost and what they covered. The process was stress-free and I signed up for the plan that’s right for me, with no gaps in health care or insurance coverage.”
In the past, people who had access to health insurance through a family member’s job were typically blocked from getting less expensive coverage through the marketplace. This year, a fix is in place. Now, more Vermonters whose employer-sponsored plans are expensive can benefit from subsidies. The fix may make health insurance more affordable and within reach.
It’s best to sign up by December 15 to ensure members are protected throughout 2023. Coverage will begin on February 1, 2023 for people who enroll between December 16, 2022 and January 15, 2023.
It’s easy to sign up:
• Create an account and tell us about your household. You will be screened to see if you are eligible for subsidies to help pay for a health plan.
• The easy-to-use Plan Comparison Tool for 2023 health plans is designed to help you choose a plan that best meets your financial and medical needs.
• Assisters are professionals who are trained and certified by Department of Vermont Health Access to help Vermonters enroll and maintain health coverage. They can answer questions and walk you through an application. Assisters work for various agencies in the community such as hospitals, health care providers, and community-based organizations.
• Learn how to calculate if employer sponsored insurance is affordable or if you can get financial help through the marketplace with this online tool.
Vermont Health Connect is the place for individuals and families to shop for and enroll in health insurance. Vermonters can learn more by visiting www.VermontHealthConnect.gov, calling the Customer Support Center at 1-855-899-9600, or contacting an in-person assister near you.