Green Mountain Care Board Cuts Rate Increase For VT Health Connect Plans

By Joe Gullo

Published 09/02 2014 04:35PM

Updated 09/02 2014 04:38PM

MONTPELIER, Vt. - The Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) announced Tuesday that they are cutting rate increases for Vermont Health Connect (VHC) insurance plans.

GMCB says the decisions are result of a 90-day review period and technical analysis that began with the insurers filing their rate request by June 2.

“While we agree with the insurers that the rates are significantly impacted by changes in federal law and we believe we exercised our regulatory authority as intended, we are not satisfied that our work is even close to done,” said GMCB Chair Al Gobeille. “The trajectory of VHC insurance rates confirms the sense of urgency we feel to collaborate with payers and medical providers to build a payment and delivery system that is more efficient, more effective, and more affordable.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield requested a 9.8 percent average annual rate increase beginning January 1, 2015. The board reduced that rate to 7.7 percent. MVP Health requested a 15.3 percent annual increase, the board reduced that to 10.9 percent.

GMCB says that the increases come from increases in medical and pharmaceutical costs, changes in federal payments to insurers, and federal rules governing coverage. Because the rates are averages of different benefit plans, the board says, premium costs will vary for Vermonters next year.

For more information on how the GMCB reviews health insurance rates, see the rate review website.

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