Vermont health chief: Exchange cost pushes $200 million

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont’s health care reform chief says the cost of the Vermont Health Connect health insurance exchange is projected to grow to nearly $200 million, and he says a key part of the system won’t be functional for the foreseeable future.

Lawrence Miller’s comments to the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday drew tough questions from committee members. Some noted the money being spent on the exchange is made up of federal, rather than state dollars, but questioned the system’s long-term sustainability.

The system still isn’t able to enroll employees of small businesses whose employers pay for health coverage. Meanwhile, its duties are scheduled to expand to include medium-sized businesses, those with between 50 and 100 employees.

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