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Feds Delay Health Exchanges, Vermont Moves Forward

Implementation of health care exchanges, a key facet of the Affordable Care Act, is being delayed in states where the federal government is controlling them. The move is not expected to affect Vermont’s rollout of its state controlled system.

The New York Times reported earlier this week that health insurance exchanges for small businesses would be delayed until 2015 in the states where the federal government is running the program. The exchanges are mandated by the Affordable Care Act and were originally targeted for implementation in January 2014. Some states, including Vermont, are creating their own exchanges.

Vermont Health Care Reform Director Robin Lunge explains that the federal government  is narrowing the ways employers can offer plans to employees, and there will be a delay in the choice of plans  in the federally controlled exchanges.  Lunge adds that Vermont is on track with its plan and the federal delay will have no impact.

Vermont Campaign for Health Care Security Executive Director Peter Sterling is certain the federal delay will have no impact on Vermont’s implementation of a health care exchange.

Although the delay in the 33 states where the federal government controls exchanges should not impact Vermont, many businesses are confused, according to Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Executive Director Andrea Cohen.

Vermonters for Health Care Freedom is a group opposed to the state’s plan to move to a single-payer health care system.  Founder and President Darcie Johnston calls the federal delay a warning that Vermont officials should heed.

Vermont plans to begin enrolling people in their exchange in October, and on Monday released proposed rates for the plan.

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