According to America's Health Rankings 2009, Vermont is the healthiest state in the entire country, but it certainly didn't gain this status from ignoring the importance of getting and maintaining affordable health insurance. Indeed, shopping for a reliable Vermont health insurance quote is liable to be one of the most important buying decisions you'll ever make. Whether you've recently lost your employer-based insurance, whether you're getting kicked off your family's health insurance plan, and whether you're shopping for a Vermont health insurance quote for the first time ever or you're looking for cheaper rates this time around, here's what you need to know about finding a health insurance policy that works for you as well as general information about health insurance in Vermont.
Vermont Health Insurance Coverage Rates and Trends
Two distinctive characteristics of health insurance in Vermont are the fourth lowest percentage of residents (3.4%) who buy health insurance on the individual market and the fourth highest percentage of residents (19.2%) who are enrolled in Medicaid health insurance, according to 2008 numbers reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Few residents in the state realize it, but Vermont health insurance is liable to face major changes in the coming decade. First, the looming individual mandate included in the recently enacted health care reform is all but guaranteed to cause an enrollment explosion on the individual market. Second, the looming possibility that the country with have to cut back on entitlement programs to create a path of financial sustainability may eventually threaten Medicaid benefits that many residents currently enjoy.
And, while substantive consequences can appear to be years away, major health insurance changes are already in the works as health insurance companies across the nation scramble to modify their business model to match the tidal shift coming to the health insurance industry. At the very least, health insurance companies are likely to aggressive market their products on the individual market in the hopes of establishing their company as a new leader in the growing individual health insurance market.
Vermont Hospitals and Health Care System
When shopping for health insurance, too many people fail to recognize the link between health insurance coverage and the state's health care system. With one of the highest rates of primary care physicians (169 for every 100,000 people), for example, you may have better access to local doctors- simultaneously increasing the benefit of a flexible preferred provider organization (PPO) health plan, while also creating sufficient access to doctors for people with a health maintenance organization (HMO) health plan.
But perhaps the greatest asset for Vermont health insurance consumers is the state's dedication to health care transparency. State law requires that hospitals publish annual reports about the quality and cost of the care they provide. The state, then, collects this information and publishes it online for all to see. Thus, if you have a history of heart problems and live in the northern half of the state, you may want to make sure your insurance plan and health network includes North Country Hospital, which achieved the highest marks for heart failure care. (If you live in the southern or eastern parts of the state, you might want to check out Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center.)
If you're more concerned about overall patient satisfaction, you may want to make sure your health plan gives you access to care at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center or Grace Cottage Hospital. To see other health care ratings, including pricing, for specific hospitals and health care providers, click here.
Find a Local Vermont Health Insurance Quote
It may surprise you but the best way, by far, to find a local Vermont health insurance quote is with an online referral service, like NetQuote. Take but a minute to submit a request for health insurance quotes in your area, and we'll go to bat for you, connecting you with reputable, licensed health insurers that best suit your health insurance needs. Beyond the convenience of finding reliable insurance companies from the comfort of your own home, you'll be able to quickly and effectively comparison shop rates from different companies. In turn, you'll have more time to consider the specifics of your health plan and what deductibles and/or co-insurance rates make the most sense for you, your loved ones, and your budget.