- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A weekend upgrade means those who have purchased insurance through Vermont Health Connect can now pay their bills online.

The online payment function in the state’s online health marketplace had not worked since the system was launched last fall. But a few people enrolling for coverage over the weekend were able to use it before it was fully installed, and workers helping people enroll were getting more training on Monday, according to Vermont Public Radio (https://bit.ly/1jM2U4N).

“Any Vermonter who is enrolling by March 15th for April 1st coverage will be able to pay online in the normal part of the process, and anybody who has been enrolled will be able to go online and pay their bill that way as well,” said Lawrence Miller of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, which has been working with the Department of Health Access to get the website back on track.

Miller said the upgrade also addressed a large number of issues affecting call center workers and made other small improvements to make the system more stable and functional.

After problems arose with the marketplace, policy holders were allowed to extend their existing coverage through the end of March. Those customers will need to sign up for a plan through Vermont Health Connect by March 15 and pay by the end of the month to avoid lapses in coverage.

Small businesses were allowed to bypass the marketplace this year and buy plans directly from insurers. Miller said he expects the small business functions to be ready for 2015 enrollment.

“We are going to be working on bringing small businesses up. But we want to be clear that those folks should continue to direct enroll, he said. “As we have with this system update, we’re not going to bring it out until it’s been fully tested, fully validated, and is truly ready for prime time.”

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Information from: WVPS-FM, https://www.vpr.net


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