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News : Vermonters Unable to Reach Health Connect Call Center
Dec 22, 2013 -- The Vermont Health Connect call center, which Department of Vermont Health Access Commissioner Mark Larson said would be open both days over the weekend, was closed Sunday - the day before a federal deadline for financial assistance.
In order to be considered for federal aid, Vermonters must have chosen a plan before the end of Monday, Dec. 23.
According to user comments on this story, the call center was closed Saturday. On Sunday, multiple attempts to reach a customer service representative at the Vermont Health Connect call center were unsuccessful. After navigating an automated menu, a recorded voice comes on the line to say "We are currently closed. Thank you for calling Vermont Health Connect. Goodbye."
Lindsey Tucker, deputy commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, said Sunday that there was a miscommunication and the call center was open on Saturday for its normal hours of 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and was never scheduled to be open Sunday.
On Friday, Larson said state officials would work through the weekend to enroll as many Vermonters as possible before a Dec. 23 federal deadline to qualify for government subsidies.
"The Vermonters for whom the Dec. 23 deadline is an important date are those who purchase health coverage on their own," said Department of Vermont Health Access Commissioner Mark Larson. "They don’t get health insurance through their work, and are interested in the financial help available through the Affordable Care Act and the State of Vermont."
With VermontHealthConnect.gov up and running, Larson said users should be able to go through the entire enrollment process online. He said anyone who has questions – even this weekend – can call the Vermont Health Connect call center. That call center seems to be inactive as of 4 p.m. on Sunday.
"If you haven’t started today," Larson said Friday, "please do so, and if you have a question along the way, don’t hesitate to call the call center and we’d love to try to help."
Larson emphasized that Vermonters must choose their plans by Dec. 23. He said people should pay as soon as they receive an invoice so they are sure to be covered at the beginning of the year.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Vermont Health Connect:
Vermont Health Connect is the health insurance marketplace, previously known as health insurance exchange, in the U.S. state of Vermont, created in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The marketplace operates a web site.
Published: Tuesday, December 24, 2013