Just before the state health care exchange’s next major target date, Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Thursday that implementation of his flagship health care reform law will be delayed.
According to an announcement released by Shumlin’s office:
“The purpose of Vermont Health Connect is to simplify the process of buying insurance for Vermonters. I won’t tolerate a situation where Vermonters go into the holiday season worried and confused by their health care options come January 1st. That is simply unacceptable,” the Governor said. “Today I am taking steps to ensure that won’t happen. While thousands of Vermonters have signed up for coverage through Vermont Health Connect, many others have been frustrated by technology glitches. It is possible those technology errors will be fixed in a matter of weeks, but multiple missed deadlines and failed technology fixes in my judgment require us to implement this plan.”
The delayed plan will push existing coverage from its original Dec. 31 end date to March 31, 2014.
According to the release:
Gov. Shumlin spoke to the head of CGI, the lead contractor charged with creating and maintaining the VHC website. The Governor has outlined his concerns with the system, informed the company of the plan being implemented, insisting that pressure on CGI to solve the problems becomes more urgent with each passing day, and reiterated that the state expects to pursue its remedies regarding the financial penalties outlined in the contract.
For more on this story, see VPR's Bob Kinzel's report from Montpelier.