University of Vermont

Sessions Help Farmers Enroll in Vermont Health Connect

Burlington--In the past many agricultural producers have relied on co-ops, farm bureaus and other group associations to provide health insurance. Beginning March 31, many of these plans are ending, requiring these individuals to enroll in Vermont Health Connect.

University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and Vermont Health Connect are partnering for two days in early March to offer Vermont farmers free enrollment assistance and advice from certified Vermont Health Connect assistors. For farmers who need information, or have not yet enrolled in Vermont Health Connect, this is an opportunity to receive confidential, individual attention to meet the March 15 enrollment deadline to be eligible for coverage effective April 1.

Appointments are available on both March 4 and 5 at the following locations:

MIDDLEBURY--Ilsley Public Library, 75 Main St.; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call (802) 388-4969 or (800)-956-1125 (toll-free) to make an appointment. To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, contact Donna Brown at either number by Feb. 27.

ST. ALBANS--UVM Extension Office, 278 South Main St., Ste.2, St. Albans; 9:30 a. m.-4:30 p.m. For an appointment call (802)-524-6501 or (800) 639-2130 (toll-free.) To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, contact Elaine Burnor at either number by Feb. 27.

Depending on the size and type of farm, producers will be required to direct enroll their employees with either Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont or MVP Healthcare or accept the Catamount Employer Assessment.  If you plan to offer insurance to your employees, please check with insurance carriers regarding their suggested deadlines to avoid gaps in coverage.

Anyone who is not enrolling as a business will need to enroll directly with Vermont Health Connect by March 15 for coverage to take effect April 1. Many individuals will qualify for financial assistance that reduces premium amounts, and in some cases, out-of-pocket costs. Remember, you must pay your premium before your plan starts.

If you enroll between the first and the 15th of any month, coverage will become effective the first day of the following month. For enrollments after the 15th of the month, coverage will become effective the first day of the second following month.

Information about health insurance plans can be found at the Vermont Health Connect web site (http://info.healthconnect.vermont.gov/). Or call (855) 899-9600 (toll-free), e-mail vthealthconnect@state.vt.us or contact your insurance broker.