Vermont health insurance exchange struggles to overcome problems

Vermont Health insurance exchanges

Audit shows that the state’s insurance exchange still suffers from crippling issues

An audit of the Vermont health insurance exchange has shown that there are still serious problems with the state’s exchange marketplace. The exchange, called Vermont Health Connect, has been struggling to overcome some serious issues for the past several months. These issues range from faults in the exchange’s enrollment process and renewal system to security issues that threaten the safety of consumer information. While the audit found that some problems have been resolved, others remain.

Gaps in functionality remain

The audit notes that there are still gaps in the functionality of the state’s health insurance exchange. Many of these gaps have been closed, due to the time consuming work of those managing the exchange, but all of the exchange’s problems have yet to be rectified. Vermont has committed a great deal of personnel to addressing the exchange’s issues, but this has done relatively little to resolve the problems that the exchange has. The effectiveness of this work will not be apparent until the exchange is again launch for the open enrollment period later this year.

New contractor could make the exchange more secure

Vermont Health insurance exchangesVermont commissioned a new contractor to handle the technical aspects of its insurance exchange. This was due to the security breaches that the exchange suffered in October of 2013, where consumer information was placed under significant threat by those that would seek to exploit this information. By changing contractors, the state hopes to have a more secure insurance exchange system in place, which can protect the information of those receiving coverage through the exchange.

Premium payment system is still subpar

While Vermont has been working to remedy the problems of its exchange, the audit shows that relatively little has been done to address the issue of premium payments. The audit notes that there is a lack of financial reporting, account oversight, and full reconciliation of consumer account balances. This presents a worrying situation for the exchange and those using it to access health insurance coverage. Problems with the premium payment system could mean that bills are not paid on time, which could lead to several thousand people losing their insurance coverage.

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