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Wed Jun 12, 2019, 07:26 AM

Scott signs law regulating health benefits administrators

Vermont will now start regulating companies that administer tax-advantaged health accounts people use to save for medical expenses, especially on high-deductible plans.

Gov. Phil Scott signed S.41 into law on Monday. The measure, which passed both the House and Senate unanimously, directs the Department of Financial Regulation to adopt rules to license and regulate such entities by September 2020. Companies that manage health reimbursement, health savings, and flexible spending accounts in the state will need to apply to DFR for a license to operate in Vermont and pay a $600 fee.

The Vermont-NEA, the state’s largest teachers union, lobbied for the legislation after Future Planning Associates, a Williston-based company that at one point handled accounts for about 80% of all districts in the state, abruptly canceled its contracts with schools. The ensuing debacle left thousands of teachers in the lurch, and hundreds complaining that bungled claims had landed them in hot water with debt collectors.

DFR Commissioner Michael Pieciak said that the department supported the legislation, in large part because the state had been unable to intervene when teachers came to them with complaints last year.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2019/06/11/scott-signs-law-regulating-health-benefits-administrators/

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