February 19, 2013

What Vermont can teach other states about healthcare

Commonwealth Fund - Vermont is the first state to enact single-payer health care legislation, successfully navigating the competing interests of businesses, providers, and the public while overcoming legal constraints and limited state budget resources. The law, which passed in May 2011 and is expected to become operational in 2015, creates a public–private, single-payer system financed through payroll taxes and offering a generous standard benefit package.
  • When fully implemented, Vermont's single-payer system is expected to lower health care spending levels by 25.3 percent. The anticipated savings after 10 years would result from lower administrative expenses (7.3%), reduced fraud and abuse (5%), greater integration of the delivery system (10%), and malpractice reform (2%), among other sources.
  • Employer spending will drop by $100 million by 2016, or $260 per employee. Vermont employers that now offer coverage to their workers would see a decrease of $1,429 in the cost of health benefits per employee. Employers not offering health insurance will see costs increase by $1,422 per employee.
  • The net benefit to households is estimated at $100 million in 2016, or $370 per household. Households below 133 percent of the federal poverty level would see a net gain of about $500; those between 133 percent and 400 percent of poverty would see gains of $1,100.
  • The new system is expected to create about 3,800 new jobs in 2015.
  • The reform will increase Vermont's total economic output by more than $100 million in 2015.
  • In 2015, the total tax rate required to finance the system will be 14.2 percent of the adjusted payroll, with employers paying 10.6 percent and employees paying 3.6 percent.

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