Vermont lawmakers will decide this winter how their state will design a health insurance exchange.
The federal Affordable Care Act requires states to create exchanges by 2014 or have the government do it for them. The exchanges are Internet-based marketplaces where small employers and individuals will be able to compare health insurance plans and make insurance purchases. The idea is to increase their negotiating clout with insurance companies.
The Burlington Free Press says that in the first phase, the exchanges could affect nearly a quarter of Vermont’s population.
Some employers worry that they could be offered coverage such as high-deductible plans that would be a good deal for small businesses’ bottom lines, but a bad deal for consumers’ wallets.