Vermont Extends Special Enrollment Period for Health Insurance to October 1, 2021

10 May 2021
Updated Plan Comparison Tool Shows Individual Impact of More Financial Help

 

Waterbury, VT  –  Vermont is extending the Special Enrollment Period for Vermont’s health insurance marketplace to October 1, 2021. The extension will allow Vermonters who do not currently have health insurance to enroll through the marketplace and take advantage of new financial help available under the American Rescue Plan Act. The additional financial help, through expanded premium tax credits, is only available through Vermont’s health insurance marketplace.

For those who are currently enrolled in health insurance through the marketplace and qualify for the expanded financial assistance, no action is required right now.  After next month’s system changes, these Vermonters will receive a letter explaining their new premium tax credits and giving them the choice to take a larger discount on future monthly bills and/or receive a larger refund when they file their 2021 taxes. They will also have the option to change plans.

Vermonters without health insurance and those enrolled directly with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and MVP Health Care are encouraged to enroll through the State’s health insurance marketplace.

“The recent federal changes mean that a family of 3 with an annual income of $100,000 may now qualify for nearly $1,200 in tax credits for every month they are enrolled in health insurance through the State’s marketplace - that’s more than $14,000 per year in additional financial help,” said Michael K. Smith, Secretary of the Agency of Human Services.

Most people who enroll in qualified health plans through the State’s health insurance marketplace already receive financial assistance but the American Rescue Plan Act will result in substantially more financial help for most Vermonters. To learn more about financial help under the new changes, visit Vermont’s health insurance marketplace and click on the updated Plan Comparison Tool. Vermonters may also call the Customer Support Center at 1-855-899-9600 if they have questions or contact a trained Assister for support.

“Our commitment to ensuring access to affordable health insurance continues,” Adaline Strumolo, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, said. “For uninsured Vermonters, the extension of the Special Enrollment Period offers additional time to apply for health insurance and enhanced financial help through the State’s marketplace. For Vermonters who had been directly enrolled with Blue Cross and Blue Shield or MVP, we are encouraging enrollment through the marketplace as soon as possible for those eligible due to the new financial help available through the American Rescue Plan Act.”

Vermonters enrolled directly with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and MVP Health Care should have recently received mailed notices with instructions for how to transfer their health plans to the State’s health insurance marketplace. Members can keep the same health plan with the same insurance company while qualifying for tax credits for every month enrolled in the marketplace. The insurance companies will also credit the transferring members for any payments already made toward their deductible.

Vermonters are being encouraged to enroll as soon as possible because the new premium tax credits are available for every month of enrollment through the State’s health insurance marketplace.  Eligible Vermonters will be able to apply those tax credits as a monthly discount when the American Rescue Plan Act changes are implemented next month. 

 

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About the Provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act:

  1. Higher eligibility thresholds. Vermonters whose incomes were too high to qualify under previous rules will find the benefit cliff has been replaced by a tax credit phase-out. Eligible Vermonters on single plans qualify with incomes up to $94,500, while those in family plans qualify with incomes up to $265,000 (for plan years 2021 and 2022).
  2. More generous benefits. Vermonters who already receive financial help will likely get more. Current members do not need to do anything now. They will receive a letter with details after system changes are implemented (for plan years 2021 and 2022).
  3. Extra benefits for recently unemployed Vermonters. If a Vermonter qualified for unemployment compensation at any point in 2021, their household may qualify for maximum tax credits and help with out-of-pocket costs (for plan year 2021 only). 
  4. More flexible timing. Some Vermonters are currently taking advantage of a federal subsidy that temporarily provides free COBRA health coverage. They can now come to the marketplace when their benefit runs out in September.

Department of Vermont Health Access

280 State Drive
Waterbury, Vermont 05671-1010
Phone: 802-879-5900
Fax: 802-241-0260

Department Contact List for customer service, program telephone and fax numbers, and staff email

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday (Excluding Holidays) 7:45am - 4:30pm

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Kelly Provost
DVHA Public Records Officer
AHS.DVHALegal@Vermont.gov
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