SSG is proud to be working with the State of Vermont and evaluating the future of the Vermont Health Connect (VHC). As part of the 2016 Budget Bill H-0875 Sec. E 127.1, the Vermont General Assembly called for an assessment concerning the future of the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange. The Vermont Legislature commissioned SSG to conduct an independent survey and report of the Health Connect, and we are working to provide recommendations upon our findings.
Our focus is to provide the Legislature and Vermont’s residents concrete recommendations on whether or not to continue enhancing the Heath Connect or to altogether move to the Federal Exchange.
We developed a forum to give constituents direct access to being part of the assessment, and to have their comments become an official part of the record. Vermont residents who are interested in commenting further can email firstname.lastname@example.org until November 18th.
On Monday, October 10th our team led a town hall discussion at the State House Montpelier, Vermont to further gain feedback from the public on their experiences with the Health Connect. The responses we received to date have exceeded our expectations, are valuable, and have included a spectrum of stories, antidotes, and suggestions on how the system can be improved.
Our finalized report, due December 15, 2016 will focus on three main tasks:
Task 1— an operational assessment of VHC.
The assessment will include an analysis of the system as to compliance with existing federal and state laws as well as overall operational state of the system.
Task 2 — a long-term feasibility assessment of VHC.
The analysis includes an evaluation of the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of maintaining Vermont Health Connect either as a standalone system or as part of the technology for a larger, integrated eligibility system, including a comparison of these costs to those of other state-based exchanges. This analysis shall include a review of licensing costs and issues as they apply to both the commercial components and the software that make up Vermont Health Connect.
Task 3 — examine alternatives to VHC and provide a scoring of VHC and the alternatives.
The analysis provides a comparison of the costs of alternative approaches required to ensure a sustainable, effective State-based exchange and, to the extent possible, provides specific recommendations and action steps for legislative consideration. Alternative approaches shall include any opportunity to build on other states’ exchange technology, as well as a fully or partially federally facilitated exchange. Factors to analyze include required technological change, ease of transition, short-term and long-term costs for both the transition and the operation of the alternative, and implications for future developments of the Vermont health care system.
Upon publication, our report will be online at www.leg.state.vt.us/jfo