MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont regulators on Monday announced monthly rates for the state’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange plans.
The state’s Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) has given final approval for the rates for the individual and small-group “qualified health plans” (QHPs) to be sold through the Vermont Health Connect system.
Vermont is trying to have all individual and small-group health insurance sales go through the exchange.
The exchange is supposed to start enrolling consumers in QHPs Oct. 1, with the first coverage sold starting to take effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Anya Rader Wallack, the GMCB chair, said the full market rates for QHP coverage will be similar to the rates customers pay in the commercial market today.
Federal tax credits and state premium subsidies should make coverage more affordable for moderate-income and lower-income state residents than it is today, Wallack said.
“For those who qualify for the tax credits and premium subsidies, there’s a pretty big difference,” Wallack said. “In terms of just comparisons with prices in the marketplace (today), the difference is less dramatic.”
Kevin Goddard, spokesman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont agreed, calling the rates to be charged when people buy his company’s insurance through Vermont Health Connect “comparable” to what they would pay without the exchange in place.
PPACA requires QHPs to fall into one of four “metal” levels, ranging from bronze plans, which will cover about 60 percent of the actuarial value of a standard “essential health benefits” (EHB) package, up to platinum plans, which will cover about 90 percent of the actuarial value of the EHB package.