Enrollment period for Vermont Health Connect starts Nov. 1

Vermont residents who want to sign up for a health insurance plan for next year through the state's online exchange or existing subscribers who want to change their plan can do so starting next month.

The annual enrollment period for Vermont Health Connect runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

This year, the state's health insurance marketplace includes four new bronze plans: two from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and two from MVP Health Care for 2018.

The bronze plans are for those who expect to be in good health or who want to have a low premium and pay more out of pocket, said Sean Sheehan, spokesman for the Vermont Department of Health Access, on Thursday.

More than three-quarters of Vermont Health Connect members find that they are eligible for subsidies to lower the cost of insurance, according to the Department of Health Access. People can use the department's online comparison plan tool to see if they qualify for any subsidies or cost-sharing reductions.

Vermonters who miss the Dec. 15 deadline may not be able to start health coverage until January 2019, the department said. Those who qualify for special enrollment periods — such as due to a job loss or job change or loss of a government-sponsored health plan — generally have 60 days to sign up, and those who qualify for Medicaid can enroll throughout the year, the department said.

Those already enrolled in a plan through the exchange will automatically be renewed.