Vermont's Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin has waived the Jan. 1 deadline for all residents to be part of a state-run health insurance program.
Vermont's law goes further than the Affordable Care Act, and ends private insurance plans in the state. All residents are required to be part of the state-run program, according to The Daily Beast
The state is one of 14 that decided to operate its own online health exchange, but its rollout followed a path similar to the that of the disastrous rollout of the federal Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov.
According to the Burlington Free Press
, Shumlin is invoking a "safety valve" put in place by the Legislature, which was designed to permit individuals to continue buying private insurance in the event the state-run online health marketplace failed to operate as intended.
"I won't tolerate a situation where Vermonters go into the holiday season worried and confused by their healthcare options come Jan. 1. That is simply unacceptable," Shumlin said in a statement.
"While thousands of Vermonters have signed up for coverage through Vermont Health Connect, many others have been frustrated by technology glitches. It is possible those technology errors will be fixed in a matter of weeks, but multiple missed deadlines and failed technology fixes in my judgment require us to implement this plan," he said.
The governor's announcement means that individuals and small employers who buy their own insurance will be able to extend their current plans, which expire Dec. 31, until March 31, the Free Press reports.
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