Government urged not to reduce scope of health program

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Vermont’s congressional delegation is urging the federal government not to reduce the scope of the state’s new Catamount Health Program.

The program is slated to start in November.

Catamount is designed to provide publicly subsidized health insurance to people who earn up to 300% of the federal poverty level.

But the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services recently ruled that the state could do so only up to 200% of the poverty level.

Making up for the resulting loss of federal funding is expected to cost the state $10 million over two years.

The delegation says in a letter to Medicaid officials that the decision will hurt Vermont’s efforts to reduce health care costs.

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