Pandemic aid will provide $ 25 million in grants to Vermont Medicare
MONTPELIER, Vermont (WCAX) – More than $ 25 million in US bailout funding will help lower the cost of health insurance for up to 50,000 Vermonters.
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you the cost of health care is sky-high, especially monthly health insurance premiums.
“As a senior, if something happened to me or my husband, I don’t know how we would react,” said Kathleen Pelletier from Berlin.
Under this plan, approximately 25,000 people who purchase insurance through Vermont Health Connect, the state’s online marketplace for insurance coverage, are eligible for help on their premiums, thanks to thresholds of. higher income eligibility. People who register directly with their insurance companies (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and MVP Health Care) may also be eligible if they transfer their plan to the market. Heads of state say the benefits passed by Congress do three things:
Give Vermonters who already receive grants get more, allow anyone who has applied for unemployment benefits this year to be eligible, and increase the cap on the number of people who can receive benefits
In the past, a Vermonter earning $ 55,000 was not eligible for assistance, and the state’s cheapest plan would have cost $ 491 per month. Now that same plan would cost just $ 211.
“It’s a significant amount. Over the next five months, they’ll save a few thousand dollars for the average person paying full price, ”said Sean Sheehan of the Department of Vermont Health Access.
And for some, depending on income level, the subsidies will make the insurance free.
“Tax credits can reduce their monthly premium to zero. It has also been huge for people. I mean, heartbreaking, ”said Samantha Ball of Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor.
To access the grants, Health Connect members will need to register online. Those who do nothing will still be entitled to a tax credit next winter.
The American Rescue Plan also makes tens of millions of dollars available to some 20,000 uninsured Vermonters if they sign up for Vermont Health Connect. So far, about 2,000 Vermonters have contacted the state.
The enhanced benefits only last until the end of next year, although the Vermont congressional delegation is pushing to expand them further. And for current registrants who want to change plans completely, Friday is the deadline.
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