Vermont Health Connect spending eerily similar to shut down exchanges

Vermont’s spending on its state-run health exchange is at levels hit by Oregon and Hawaii before those states shut down operations and moved to the federally run

In May, Hawaii became the latest state to dump its state exchange after wasting $135 million in taxpayer funds and signing up just 37,000 enrollees. One year earlier, Oregon shut down its exchange after the state spent $305 million and enrolled 200,000 people.

Vermont Health Connect has similar numbers to those failed health exchanges, but the state is doing its best to make those numbers disappear.

VHC is estimated to have cost $200 million to set up, and will cost about $50 million to run annually. In addition, implementation of May’s change of circumstance technology cost the state $2.7 million, and the state owes Blue Cross Blue Shield $1.6 million for canceled policy mix-ups in 2014.

Reconciliation of 2015 mix-ups could be as high as $9 million, and VTDigger reported the cost of manual signups during open enrollment period of November to March cost an additional unexpected $4 million.

According to status reports from Chief of Health Care Reform Lawrence Miller, as of May, VHC had 211,558 Vermonters covered through the exchange.

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