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State picks vendor to health care reform outreach and enrollment efforts

WATERBURY — The Office of Vermont Health Access (OVHA) has selected GMMB as the vendor to lead Vermont’s health care reform outreach and enrollment activities, state officials announced Tuesday.

A final contract is anticipated to be completed within the next couple of weeks. GMMB is based in Washington, Los Angeles, and Seattle. It has worked with AARP and other major organizations on natonal campaigns. It is perhaps best known for being the lead politicial consultants to Bill Clinton in 1992 when he won the presidency.

The Health Care Affordability Act, Vermont’s landmark health care legislation, charged the Agency of Human Services (AHS) and OVHA to develop and implement outreach and enrollment activities to reduce the number of uninsured by enrolling eligible Vermonters into the state’s public health care programs, such as the Vermont Health Access Plan (VHAP) and Dr. Dynasaur, and by encouraging Vermonters to enroll in their employer-sponsored insurance programs or the new Catamount Health Plan.

Vermont’s current uninsured rate is 9.8 percent or 61,000 Vermonters. “The goal is to reduce the 9.8 percent to 4 percent by 2010,” said Gov. Jim Douglas. “GMMB has the expertise to establish the foundation for reaching our goal.”

GMMB will collaborate with the AHS/OVHA, the director of health care reform implementation, health insurers, businesses, and other interested parties to research groups of uninsured Vermonters, and develop and implement outreach activities to target these groups for enrollment.

It is estimated that 51 percent of uninsured Vermonters are eligible for one of Vermont's public health care programs but not yet enrolled. The Health Care Affordability Act includes multiple initiatives designed to appeal to the spectrum of the uninsured. A new insurance product, the Catamount Health Plan, is designed to make affordable and comprehensive commercial coverage available to all uninsured Vermonters by Oct. 1.

Also, Vermont will provide premium assistance on a sliding scale basis to Catamount Health Plan enrollees and eligible Vermonters who are enrolled in their employer-sponsored health insurance plan.

Since 1999, GMMB has helped the uninsured secure health insurance coverage through national and state-level efforts. GMMB specializes in integrated outreach campaigns and has a long record of successfully motivating behavioral change among hard-to-reach groups.

Sovernet expands into New Hampshire

BELLOWS FALLS — Sovernet has signed agreements to provide services to Keene and Lebanon, NH, along with network upgrades.

Company officials say this reinforces its commitment to the Northern New England market with the deployment of next generation technology voice and data services in Keene and Lebanon, New Hampshire, enabling statewide service.

“We are very excited to be expanding and look forward to building the same long term relationships with our neighbors in New Hampshire as we have in Vermont for the last 12 years,” says Rich Kendall, Sovernet’s president and chief executive officer.

Sovernet’s addition of next generation equipment, along with a major network upgrade, enables the company to augment its services with the latest value-added, feature-rich digital voice and data applications.

Sovernet recently completed a three-year contract with the City of Keene for voice services.

Founded in 1995, Sovernet Communications is Vermont's first and largest locally operated statewide competitive provider of residential and business telephone and Internet services.

Sovernet Communications is headquartered in Bellows Falls, with facilities in Burlington and Winooski

For more information, visit www.sover.net

Posted April 11, 2007

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