Vermont agricultural employers need to make important decisions in the coming weeks regarding health insurance, as many plans that farmers and food businesses have relied on in the past will end on March 31.
If your plan is ending, you need to enroll in a health plan through Vermont Health Connect by March 15 for coverage that will take effect April 1st 2014. If you enroll between March 15th and March 31st 2014, coverage will begin on May 1st, 2104, and may result in a gap in coverage.
The Vermont Agricultural Producer Resource Packet provides information specifically geared to the farm community about obtaining health insurance in Vermont’s new health exchange. The packet was produced by Vermont Health Connect and the Addison County Chamber of Commerce.
If you plan to offer employer sponsored insurance, 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. If you are planning on offering insurance to your employees, please check with insurance carriers about their suggested deadlines to avoid gaps in coverage.
Employers that do not offer health insurance coverage may pay the Catamount Assessment, depending on how many employees are uncovered.
Those who are not offering employer sponsored coverage will need to enroll in individual/family coverage through Vermont Health Connect by March 15th, 2014 for coverage to take effect April 1st. Most individuals will qualify for financial assistance that reduces premium amounts, and in most cases, out of pocket costs.
Remember, you must pay your premium before your plan starts.