February 20, 2019

DFR seeks input on health plan rules

The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation plans to file emergency regulations by Aug. 1 in response to the United States Department of Labor’s recently issued final rule regarding Association Health Plans.

The rule expands the ability of small businesses and self-employed workers to band together by geography or industry to provide health care coverage to their members as if they were a single large employer. Emergency rulemaking will ensure regulations are in place on Sept. 1 when the newly expanded Association Health Plans can be offered in Vermont.

The emergency rules will ensure the department meets the directive in Act 131 for the commissioner to adopt rules to “protect Vermont consumers and promote the stability of Vermont’s health insurance markets, to the extent permitted under federal law.”

Michael Pieciak, financial regulation commissioner, encourages interested stakeholders to contact the department as it drafts the emergency rules over the next month. The department is seeking input about the scope and content of the new regulations.

“The department aims to craft regulations that ensure Vermonters are protected and well-served by these health plans,” he said. “In the past, similar plans that operated in other states were poorly run and many were fraudulent. A well-regulated market will help prevent this from happening in Vermont.”

Vermonters interested in learning more or providing input can contact Emily Brown no later than July 25 at emily.brown@vermont.gov or Phil Keller, director of insurance regulation, at phil.keller@vermont.gov.

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