UMMS analysis of Vermont’s single-payer health system highlighted in The Atlantic

By Jennifer Rosinski

UMass Medical School Communications

January 09, 2014

A Center for Health Law and Economics (CHLE) report that provides a model for Vermont’s innovative single-payer health insurance system, Green Mountain Care, was highlighted in a recent article in The Atlantic.

The Dec. 27, 2013 article, Can Vermont's Single-Payer System Fix What Ails American Healthcare?, described Vermont’s plans to convert to a publicly run health insurance program that would provide universal insurance coverage, improve benefits for those who are underinsured, and increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate to doctors. The new system could start no earlier than 2017.

The CHLE report, “State of Vermont Health Care Financing Plan Beginning Calendar Year 2017,” details the costs and coverage of a single-payer system in Vermont. It was produced for the Vermont Agency of Administration by a team from CHLE within the Commonwealth Medicine division of UMass Medical School, and Wakely Consulting Group Inc. The UMMS authors included Katharine London, MS; Michael G. Grenier, MPA; Robert Seifert, MPA; and Thomas Friedman, MPA. The Wakely Consulting Group authors included Julie Peper, FSA, MAAA; Julia Lambert, FSA; MAAA, David Neiman, FSA, MAAA; and Crystal Bradley, ASA, MAAA.

A single-payer system would provide more value at a lower cost for Vermont and its residents, according to the CHLE analysis. More than 90 percent of Vermont residents would enroll in the new health insurance option, which would save the state $281 million between 2017 and 2019 in part by lowering administrative expenses and containing health care costs, the report said.