Top Vermont officials have announced contingency plans under which the federal government could take over the state's health insurance exchange, or there could be a hybrid federal-state system.
The announcement comes nearly 18 months after the glitch-ridden rollout of Vermont Health Connect, the state-run exchange set up under the federal Affordable Care Act. Vermont Health Connect still isn't meeting its goals.
Lawrence Miller, director of Vermont's health reform program, says he expects the contractor the state switched to last year will meet deadlines, including the development by May of a system allowing consumers to use the exchange website to register changes in circumstance or coverage.
But he and Gov. Peter Shumlin acknowledge there's widespread skepticism, and are setting contingency plans that would bring more federal involvement.