BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont

PIlls on a tabletop.
Tomas Nevesely / i-stock

A new Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont report shows there's been a dramatic reduction in the number of prescriptions being written for opioid pain medication in Vermont.

Blue Cross officials says new state prescribing policies, which went into effect July 1, 2017, are a major factor in the decline.

Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Kevin Mullin says the state needs to attach tighter strings to public money being received by Vermont Information Technology Leaders.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

State regulators have ratcheted down the premium increases sought by the Vermont’s largest private health insurer, but one key official says rate hikes for next year’s plans will still be “ridiculously high.”

The cost of health plans on Vermont Health Connect may rise again next year, especially for customers of BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont.

BlueCross BlueShield proposed an 8.4 percent increase in healthcare premiums over 2015 rates, and MVP Health Care proposed a 3 percent increase.

Under the state law establishing the Green Mountain Care Board in 2011, rate changes in health plans are subject to approval by the board.