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VT Health Connect's Cost of Communication

A $1.8 million contract with a DC based firm helped VT Health Connect create its message to Vermonters as well as analyze media reports.

Vermont Health Connect has worked hard to get the message out about the changing health care policy. It turns out they’ve spent a lot of money doing it to.

In an issue originally reported on by Peter Hirschfeld of Vermont Press Bureau, a public records request shows Health Connect entered into a $1.8 million contract with GMMB to organize a media campaign.

Scroll through the report from D.C. based firm GMMB and it's clear how much media attention the Health Connect launch has received. For Vermont Health Connect, GMMB has examined and analyzed a large portion of it.

“We know that a lot of Vermonters access information through reporters and the press and we're gonna make sure that we're doing everything can to make sure Vermonters are getting clear and accurate information,” VT Health Connect Commissioner Mark Larson said.

Analyzing media was just a small part of GMMB's $1.8 million contract, paid for by the state through federal money and now about a year old. Larson says Health Connect's broader communications plan with Vermonters has largely come from GMMB.

“ Who could help us make sure we're doing all we can to make sure Vermonters are getting answers to their questions and make sure they have the information they need to make important decisions about their health coverage this fall,” Larson said.

But not everybody believes that's a project worth nearly $2 million.

“That clearly hasn't reached me at all so I didn't know $1.8 million was spent so I guess maybe it wasn't very well spent,” Victoria Krushenick said.

“You know there are a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to the health system. You know I don't know how half of it works but I don't think it would cost $1.8 million to explain it to me,” Benton Stevens said.

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