For the Week Ending January 18, 2013
Vermont legislative committees with jurisdiction over health care spent last week hearing more overviews and updates from administration officials to refresh returning members’ memories and introduce new members to the subject matter. This week, committees will begin to dig deeper into some of the major issues that they expect to address this session. Governor Shumlin will unveil his recommendations for how to fund the ongoing operation of the new health insurance purchasing exchange and options for financing the single-payer Green Mountain Care in 2017 when he delivers his annual budget address before a joint session of the legislature on Thursday.
Last week, Green Mountain Care Board chair Anya Rader-Wallack delivered the board’s annual report to the House Health Care and Senate Health and Welfare Committees. She also appeared before a joint meeting of those committees to present an update on the board’s efforts to address cost containment and the status of a grant request for funds from the federal agency that oversees health care reform.
Both committees also received a tutorial from a legislative fiscal staffer about federal tax credits and premium subsidies that will be available to income eligible purchasers on the health exchange beginning in 2014.
This week, the House Health Care Committee will join the Senate Health and Welfare Committee in a joint meeting to receive a preview of the exchange operation from administration officials and vendors developing the exchange web portal. The House committee will also delve into the state’s insurer rate review process that was revamped last year and now includes a two-step review from the department of financial regulation (formerly BISHCA) and the Green Mountain Care Board. The committee also will begin hearings on the transition of VHAP and Catamount members to the exchange and the financial impact on members due to lower federal subsidies on the exchange than were available through the VHAP and Catamount state programs.
On Friday, the House committee will join the House Ways and Means Committee for a joint hearing to learn more about the financing plans presented by the Governor in his budget proposal Thursday.
New Bills of Interest:
S.44 Introduced by Senator Mullin of Rutland District
This bill proposes to make publicly available the requirements for prior authorizations and to define and set standards for adverse determinations.
If you are interested in this week’s Legislative Committee Meeting schedules, agendas, and a listing of other meetings and activities, please visit the Vermont Legislature’s website at http://www.leg.state.vt.us/Committee01.cfm Committee meetings are normally updated daily, and are subject to change without notice. If you plan on attending, you may want to call ahead to verify the agenda.
For more information on legislative proposals, visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont website at www.bcbsvt.com or call Leigh Tofferi at (802) 223-6131 or Kathy Parry at (802) 371-3205. If you wish to discontinue receiving these updates or know of anyone else who would like to receive it, please call Kathy Parry or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org