Health Care Premiums for the Exchange May Rise

ARPA sent trillions of dollars loaded with opportunity to states and municipalities across the country. One provision expanded premium subsidies for individuals purchasing their own health insurance on Vermont Health Connect (VHC).

Last year, the Vermont Chamber successfully lobbied to separate the small group market from the individual market, resulting in nearly $17 million of savings for businesses that purchase health insurance for their employees on VHC. The markets will be merged again if the federal government doesn’t continue the premium subsidy expansion, resulting in a large increase of employer premiums. This is certainly not ideal as the one-year savings was helpful to businesses recovering from the pandemic-induced economic downturn. The Vermont Chamber is supporting a proposal to move the trigger date for this action to September 1, the latest date the State can make changes to the VHC before fourth quarter open enrollment. The Vermont Chamber will also stress that allowing those expansion costs, totaling $76 million, to be added to the current cost shift onto the small group market is unacceptable.