When can I enroll in a health plan through Vermont Health Connect?
To get a qualified health plan (QHP) through Vermont Health Connect, you must have an enrollment period:
- Open Enrollment: During Open Enrollment, any Vermonter can sign up for a QHP with Vermont Health Connect. Open Enrollment generally starts November 1 and ends runs for 6-10 weeks. If you already have a Vermont Health Connect health plan, you can change plans during Open Enrollment.
- Special Enrollment Period: If you have a qualifying event at any time of year, you’ll get a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for a QHP. There are different types of SEPs and each has rule you must meet to be eligible.
- Medicaid and Dr. Dynasaur: These programs are different from QHPs. Vermonters who are eligible for these programs may enroll at any time.
If you’re not sure what you need, the Plan Comparison Tool can help. This free tool will give you a better idea of your eligibility for Medicaid, QHPs and financial help. To get help, call our toll-free Customer Service Center at 1-855-899-9600 or find an assister near you.
How can I apply for coverage?
It’s easy to apply on the internet through VHC’s online portal. You can also apply over the phone at 1-855-899-9600, or get in-person help through a certified assister or registered broker. You can get paper applications if you want them, but these take more time to process.
If I lose my job, is COBRA my only health insurance option?
No. If you had a job-based health insurance plan and you lose it, you will have a Special Enrollment Period to get coverage from Vermont Health Connect. You can also get financial help to pay for that plan, if you qualify. If you’re not sure if you can get financial help, use the Plan Comparison Tool to get a quick estimate. If you decide to take COBRA, you may not be able to get a Vermont Health Insurance plan until the next Open Enrollment period—usually in November.
If I drop my COBRA coverage before it ends, will I get a Special Enrollment Period?
Most of the time, if you drop your COBRA coverage before it ends, you won’t get a Special Enrollment Period through Vermont Health Connect. That means you may not be able to get health insurance until Open Enrollment, unless you have a qualifying event. Most years, Open Enrollment starts November 1 and ends December 15.
COBRA coverage lasts for 18 months before it expires. When your COBRA coverage expires at the end of 18 months, you will be eligible for a 60-day Special Enrollment Period and can enroll in coverage with Vermont Health Connect.