Number Of Uninsured Vermonters Drops To 3.7 Percent

Jan 5, 2015

The Shumlin Administration says Vermont has seen a significant decline in the number of people who don't have health insurance. Gov. Peter Shumlin says the federal Affordable Care Act is the major reason why this has happened.

The state conducts the Household Health Insurance Survey every two years to track the number of Vermonters who don't have coverage.

According to the new survey results, the state's uninsured rate dropped from 6.8 percent to 3.7 percent. It's the second-lowest rate in the country; Massachusetts is the lowest.

And Vermont leads the country for the number of children who have coverage; in 2014, it was 99 percent. Officials say this is due to the Dr. Dynosaur program, which provides subsidized health insurance for people under 18.

Shumlin says there are two major reasons why Vermont's uninsured rate has been cut almost in half.

"The main driver for this significant and precipitous drop in Vermont's uninsured rate is the increased eligibility in Medicaid that was made possible by the Affordable Care Act," Shumlin said Monday. "And obviously the subsidies that Vermont gives to Medicaid beneficiaries as well as others in the exchange make a big difference." 

Shumlin says he will propose a major increase in reimbursement rates for Medicaid providers as a way to strengthen Vermont's primary care system.