Survey: Vermont's uninsured rate cut in half

Survey: Vermont's uninsured rate cut in half
Survey: Vermont's uninsured rate cut in half

The last two years saw Vermont's uninsured rate cut in half. That's according to new data released today.

Governor Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, credits the much-maligned affordable care act and state health insurance exchange for the improvement. But, part of the solution that led to the dropping rate, is intensifying another problem.

"The Affordable Care Act and our efforts with Vermont Health Connect appear to be making great progress," said Shumlin.

On Monday, Shumlin announced that Vermont's uninsured rate fell from 6.8 percent in 2012 to 3.7 percent in 2014.

That drop amounts to about 19,000 more insured Vermonters.

Shumlin says he's pleased by the results.

"But we also know that the high cost of health care, even with those that are insured, deductibles, having to pay a lot out of out of pocket, continues to inhibit folks from getting the primary care, preventative care that they deserve," said Shumlin.

The survey found that one in three uninsured Vermonters put off care due to cost. But, so did one in ten insured Vermonters.

"We do know there are Vermonters who are under-insured," said Robin Lunge, Director of Health Care Reform.

Health reform administrators say about 23 percent of those on private insurance don't have enough coverage.

And while expansion of Medicaid, federal health care policies for low-earners added to the insured ranks, the Governor says it's also driving up costs for others.

That's because the federal program underpays care providers causing some doctors to turn down patients while costs for those who do provide care shift to other payers.

Shumlin says though single-payer will not become a reality in the state's immediate future, further reform must be undertaken.

"I laid out four goals, that at a very minimum we must achieve as we move toward a more sensible health care proposal in Vermont," said Shumlin.

They are changing the way providers are paid for care, supporting more preventive services, increasing Medicaid's payouts with state funds and adding to the Green Mountain Care Board's power.

However, how Shumlin plans to achieve those steps remains unclear.

The Governor says he'll release that information during addresses to the legislature... if they officially re-elect him Governor later this week as is expected. Source

from Usa Insurance News

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