UVM health network, BCBS supports parts of Shumlin's premium reduction plan

January 20, 2015

 Vermont Digger:

Vermont’s largest hospital network and its largest health insurer both say they are on board with Gov. Peter Shumlin’s health reform proposal, which will rely on their support.

Shumlin wants to levy a 0.7 percent payroll tax to raise $92 million to pay for the package, which — along with a slew of related initiatives — would increase Medicaid payments. The program for low-income Vermonters doesn’t cover costs incurred by providers, causing them to make up their losses by negotiating higher payments from private insurance.

Lawrence Miller, chief of Health Care Reform, told lawmakers Tuesday the increased payments could reduce premiums by 5 percent from what they would otherwise be in 2016. Rep. Tim Briglin, D-Thetford Center, a newcomer to the House Health Care Committee, said that would leave the state in the position of proving a negative when Vermonters see how much their premiums will increase next year.

John Brumsted, CEO of the University of Vermont Health Network, told VTDigger in a statement that his organization will work to reduce the growth in premiums…Click Here to read the entire article.