Health Insurance Rates Hold Steady for Catamount Health Insurance Program

Christine Oliver, Deputy Commissioner Division of Health Care Administration 802-828-2900
Mon, 06/29/2009

Montpelier, VT—Commissioner Paulette Thabault of the Department of Banking, Insurance,Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA) announced that her Department hasreceived no 4th quarter rate increase requests for Catamount Health Insurance. The statesubsidizedhealth plan is sold by both Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Vermont and MVP Health, andneither has filed for an increase since the inception of the program in October 2007.Commissioner Thabault said, “The rates are so far holding steady. That speaks well for the earlysuccess of Catamount as a public/private partnership to provide affordable health insurance to allVermonters.” All health insurance rate changes must be filed with and reviewed by BISHCA,and may be approved, adjusted or denied by the Commissioner.Governor James Douglas said, “I’m pleased that our Catamount Health insurance initiative isholding a steady course. As the country tackles the complexities of national health care reform,I’m proud that Vermont has led the way with concrete gains in the effort to give all citizensaccess to affordable health care.”Catamount Health opened for enrollment in October of 2007. It offers comprehensive, qualityhealth care to uninsured Vermonters no matter how much they earn. Premiums are tiered byincome, and premium assistance is available to those in the most need.This time of year, many college grads face a loss of health insurance coverage because they areno longer students and, with other young people, reach the age at which they can no longer becovered under their parents’ policy. Catamount Health may be an option.2There are two important reasons not to let your coverage lapse:First, even when you are young and presumably healthy, it’s a dangerous wager to decide to just“skate” without health insurance for any length of time. No one ever plans to have a seriousaccident or illness. They can happen to anyone. Without health insurance, major medicalexpenses could snarl you in debt for decades. Second, with a lapse in coverage, pre-existingmedical conditions may be excluded from your coverage under a future health insurance plan.To see an online overview of Catamount eligibility and costs, go Green Mountain Care has free or low-cost health insuranceprograms for Vermonters offered by the State of Vermont and its public and private partners.#fn