The Green Mountain Care Board announced Tuesday that they would making significant cuts to the proposed premium rate hikes by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBS) and MVP Health care. After receiving over 200 comments from VPIRG members and supporters, the Board cut BCBS and MVP’s proposed rates by 2.2% and 4.4% respectively.
“The Board’s decision to cut the proposed premium hikes is a step in the right direction,” commented VPIRG Consumer Protection Advocate Falko Schilling. “VPIRG has worked with Board and the Health Care Advocate to ensure we have a strong rate review system, and as a result Vermonters will see significant savings over the proposed premiums.”
Changes advocated for by VPIRG, the Board, and the Health Care Advocate made it possible to bring in outside actuaries to review the insurers proposed rate hikes. The actuaries examined the proposed increases and found a number of areas where it would be reasonable for the Board to make cuts.
Board Chair Al Gobeille commented the decision saying, “We believe we exercised our regulatory authority as intended, we are not satisfied that our work is even close to done. 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.”
The Board reported that they received 275 comments on the proposed rate hikes, 234 of them coming from VPIRG members. In its decision the Board said, “Virtually all of the comments characterize the impact of the higher rates as unaffordable and encourage the Board to control the cost of health insurance premiums.” To read the full decisions of the Board click below.