WINOOSKI -- The Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) announced Tuesday the successful deployment of premium processing and payment functions for individuals and families on Vermont Health Connect (VHC). Individuals and families who have selected plans through VHC will begin receiving invoices in the coming days. Invoices will need to be paid by check no later than Jan. 7, 2014 for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

DVHA Commissioner Mark Larson said, "With this functionality, Vermont Health Connect is a now one-stop shop where Vermont individuals and families can compare, select and enroll in health plans that fit their needs. Many will find they qualify for financial assistance to make coverage more affordable, and improvements have vastly improved the user experience on the website."

Larson said the VHC site had been down overnight Monday into Tuesday to complete deployment of the premium processing functions. The site was expected to remain down into Tuesday morning, but work was completed early and the VHC site was operational earlier than expected.

To date, nearly 8,000 Vermont individuals and families have selected plans through VHC.

Individuals and families looking for coverage starting Jan. 1 should select a plan and pay their first invoice as soon as possible to avoid retroactive coverage. For coverage that begins on Jan. 1, enrollment should be completed by Dec. 23 and payment is due on Dec. 31. Invoices must be postmarked by Jan. 7 for coverage to be effective Jan. 1.