Today, the House Health Care Committee passed a bill that would provide additional state subsidies in 2014 for low and middle income Vermonters eligible for Catamount and VHAP. Specifically, those who are required to enroll in new insurance plans through the Health Benefit Exchange. The committee voted 7-4 in favor of the bill that also included a penny per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The bill also repeals a financial penalty on employers who do not provide health insurance.
Unfortunately, even with this state assistance, many Vermonters will still see a significant increase in what they could be asked to pay for health insurance next year. The issue of maintaining consistent coverage for Catamount and VHAP populations will now be under discussion in the House Appropriations Committee along with other issues contained in the Governor’s proposed budget. We will keep you up to date on any new developments and let you know when you have the opportunity to make your voice heard on this important issue.