Number of people without health insurance in Vermont is cut in half

Vermont Health insurance exchanges

Many Vermont residents are using the state’s insurance exchange to find coverage

The number of people without health insurance in Vermont has been cut in half, according to information released by the state. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin notes that many people have managed to find insurance coverage through the state’s exchange, which has been improved over the past year. During the first open enrollment period, which began in 2013 and ended in early 2014, the state’s insurance exchange suffered from technical issues that made it impossible for many people to purchase coverage. These problems have since been rectified.

Estimated 3.7% of state’s population lacks insurance coverage, down from 6.8%

According to the information provided by the state, the uninsured rate among the state’s population has dropped from 6.8% to 3.7% at the end of 2014. An estimated 19,000 people have found coverage through the state’s health insurance exchange. State officials are pleased with the success that the exchange has managed to find so far, but more may need to be done to address the matter of the high cost of health care.

People may be avoiding coverage due to high costs

Vermont Health insurance exchangesGovernor Shumlin notes that high deductibles and the fact that many people have to pay for medical care out of their own pockets remains a serious problem. A recent survey commissioned by the state found that many of those that lacked health insurance coverage did not purchase policies because of how expensive they were. Many noted that, even with insurance coverage, medical care would still be too expensive for them to manage in their current financial situations.

Medicaid expansion may be driving up the costs of medical care

Governor Shumlin suggests that the expansion of Medicaid may be adding to the overall cost of medical care. The federal insurance program is often accused of underpaying medical care providers, which forces doctors and hospitals to raise the price of the services that they provide. Higher medical costs are also driving up insurance premiums, which makes coverage somewhat less attractive to consumers that are looking for it.

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