VT Governor Signs Health Reform Bills

May 25, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Vermont Governor Jim Douglas signed two related health reform bills on Thursday including one that creates a private insurance plan.

A story on a Vermont news channel Web site says the legislation extends coverage to thousands of uninsured Vermonters, as part of a plan that the state government will subsidize for low-income residents.

The bills also call for managing chronic diseases while containing costs, according to the news report.

Passed by the legislature earlier in the month (See VT Health Care Reform Moves Forward ), the measure also includes a $365 per employee fee on employers who do not provide health insurance.

The news report said the employer fees and an increase in the cigarette tax will pay for the private insurance plan.

The legislation is similar to that already passed in Massachusetts (SeeMass. Senate Votes To Fine Employers Not Providing Health Insurance).