Filed Under:Health Insurance, Individual Health

Vermont governor: Our exchange will open on time

Citizens watch a recent exchange policy hearing in Newport, Vt. (AP photo/Toby Talbot)
Citizens watch a recent exchange policy hearing in Newport, Vt. (AP photo/Toby Talbot)

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said Wednesday that the Green Mountain State will get its health insurance exchange program running in October.

The Vermont Health Connect will be ready to serve both individuals and small employers in time to meet the deadlines given in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Shumlin said, according to a written version of remarks Shumlin made at a worksite wellness conference.

PPACA calls for states or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make health insurance exchanges, or Web-based health insurance supermarkets, available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia by Oct. 1, with the coverage sold through the exchanges starting to take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

Exchange plan rate rate filings were due at the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation on Monday.

The department wants to post rate filings on its website within five days of receipt, submit the filings to a 30-day public comment period, and complete a review of the rates by June.

Rates from two carriers, Blue Cross Blue Shield Vermont and MVP Health Care, could be coming out Monday, according to Robin Lunge, Shumlin's health reform director.

Vermont officials said they believe Vermont will be the first state to release PPACA exchange rate proposals.

The Associated Press contributed information to this report. 

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