Vermont Law Help's Health Law Page
Health Care Ombudsman (HCO) HelpLine
Call 1-800-917-7787 to speak with the office of Health Care Ombudsman.
Vermont’s HCO HelpLine is a free resource available to help all Vermonters solve problems related to health care. We:
- answer questions
- tell you what free and lower-cost programs you may be eligible for
- help you apply for and get free and lower-cost health coverage
- find out what your health plan covers
- provide advice about how to solve billing problems and make complaints
- work for fair treatment and affordable health services for everyone.
The HCO is not an insurance company and is not part of the of Vermont state government. It is a special project within Vermont Legal Aid, which is an independent non-profit law firm.
To get help with a health care issue, call the HCO Hotline at 1-800-917-7787. To speak with an advocate, call during business hours (8:30 am - 4 pm, Monday - Friday) or call anytime and leave a message.
You can also request help by sending an email to the HCO advocates.
Health Care Reform in Vermont - What You Need to Know
Visit and bookmark this page on our website: Health Care Reform in Vermont - What You Need to Know. We will regularly post videos, fact sheets and other information that you may find helpful to prepare for the Vermont Health Connect insurance marketplace in 2014.
How to File an Insurance Complaint
The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation's Department of Insurance makes it easy for you to file an insurance complaint. By simply clicking a button, you can file a complaint online or fill out a form to print and mail.
Visit the Insurance Complaint Frequently Asked Questions page to find out more about the process of filing a complaint.
Visit the pages below for resources that may help you with your health care problem. Can't find what you are looking for? Try using the search box.
Vermont Health Care Programs [view all]
Green Mountain Care
This chart compares the costs and benefits of Vermont's health care programs. (updated 3-18-2013)
- What can I do if the State won't pay for the service I need?
- Read our Fair Hearing flyer to find out how to get a Fair Hearing when you disagree with the State's decision
Catamount Health is a full-pay program for Vermonters 18 and older and for families who qualify. Some Vermonters may qualify for help to pay for Catamount Health. Catamount will not be offered after 2013. How to apply
Employer-Sponsored Insurance Assistance (ESIA)
Some Vermonters may qualify for help paying for insurance provided by their employers.
Long-Term Care Medicaid helps Vermonters who qualify pay for long-term care services.
Medicaid in Vermont
Low-cost or free coverage for low-income children, young adults under age 21, parents, pregnant women, caretaker relatives, and those who are blind, disabled or age 65 or older.
Helps uninsured Vermonters and those enrolled in Medicare who qualify based on income, disability status and age pay for prescription medicines. Programs include VPharm, VHAP-Pharmacy, VScript and Healthy Vermonters.
- Need help paying for prescriptions? The HCO's Prescription Drug Resource Page may help.
Vermont Health Access Plan (VHAP)
Adults age 18 and older who meet the VHAP qualifications and income guidelines can enroll in VHAP. Adults with children qualify at higher income levels.
Long-Term Medical Care in Vermont
This helpful resource answers many questions about long-term medical care: who pays; income, resources and transfers; and more.
Medical Decisions: Advanced Directives, Living Wills [view all]
What is an advanced directive? A living will? How do you make one? Find out by reading:
- Medical Decisions: Advance Directives and Living Wills
- Taking Steps to Plan for Critical Health Care Decisions (PDF)
When you're ready, these forms will help:
- Advanced Directive for Health Care: Short Form (PDF)
- Advanced Directive for Health Care: Long Form (PDF)
Medicare [view all]
In November 2012, there was an important change in Medicare coverage for people who need skilled services such as physical therapy. Before, patients had to improve in order to qualify for skilled services. Now, patients who will get worse without skilled services can get coverage.
Medicare Part D benefits are provided by private insurance companies. There are 27 different plans to choose from in Vermont. The plans cover different prescription drugs and charge different premiums and deductibles. You need to compare the plans closely and choose one that works best for you. Questions? Here's a helpful guide to Medicare Part D.
Visit the U.S. Government's Medicare website for complete information about Medicare
Private Health Insurance [view all]
Need help with problems with your private health insurance provider?
- Call the HCO Health Care Hotline at 1-800-917-7787
- Try the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation - Consumer Services Website
- Read our publication on how to appeal when your private insurance company won't pay
Reviewed March 2013
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