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I called the Chamber in Brattleboro today and they said you are not  eligible 
just because you are a member of the market even if the market is a  member. 
The insurance is only available to employees of the market. 
 
Lori  Schreier
Fertile Fields Farm
916 River Road
Westmoreland, NH  03467
(603) 399-7772
_www.fertilefieldsfarm.com_ (http://www.fertilefieldsfarm.com/) 


If  you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go  together.”
African proverb  

 
In a message dated 3/13/2009 3:18:30 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

Thanks  Mike, several things,the option of having to go without
coverage for 6 mo  to be eligible for VHAP is not an option for most.
For a lot of farm  couples,without children or children that are now
grown and fled, we find  that we are over the income threshold to be
eligible. Not so good. As I  mentioned in previous post, if you belong
to a farmers market that is also  a member of the Chamber,you are
automatically eligible for the insurance  program. Or at least that was
the case several years ago,you would have to  check now. We pay about
560.00 per month for the 2 of us,. The coverage is  thru CIGNA and it
does include eye.

On 3/13/09, Ewetopia  <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Some more thoughts on options for  health insurance:
>    1) While it is extremely admirable to  offer health insurance to one's
> employees, I would suggest that you  could compare the wages you are paying
> to the eligibility for VHAP (VT  Health Access Plan) and to the State's
> Catamount Health.  I think  most of your employees would be eligbile unless
> you are paying very,  very well and/or they have spouses with high enough 
pay
> to push them  beyond the wage limits.  Having children changes the
> eligibility  since it changes household size which is a part of their
>  formula.  I have worked with a number of farmers who were unaware that  
they
> could qualify for these programs for themselves, let alone their  employees.
> I was on VHAP for a number of years when I was still  farming 
full-time--very
> good coverage.
>    2)   Almost all children of farm employees in VT will likely qualify for
>  "Dr. Dinosaur".  Recently, my wife began to teach in the public schools,  
and
> we considered adding our children to her health plan through the  school
> district.  But, when we made the comparsion between the  school plan 
premiums
> and the Dr Dinosaur premiums, Dr Dinosaur won  out, so we continue with that
> State program, and continue to be  eligible for that program.
>    3) Prior to my wife working  through the school, I had my health 
insurance
> through Farm Family  Insurance.  Specifically, through Farm Family, I had my
> plan from  Blue Cross of NEW YORK, not VT.  Apparently, the insurance
>  companies have an exemption that allows them to go out of State to  provide
> health insurance for farmers.  This insurance premium  rates for Blue Cross
> of NY were significantly lower than Blue Cross of  VT.  In my particular
> case, the premium was also better than what  I would have gotten by going
> through the Chamber of Commerce when  Chamber dues were included (every 
local
> chamber has dramatically  different dues rates).  But, I definitely know 
many
> businesses  for whom going through the Chamber for health insurance is
> definitely  the best approach as mentioned in a previous posting (this is
>  especially true if are already a chamber member or have other reasons  to
> join).
>    4) Not all "high deductible" policies  are alike,  and just because they
> have a "high deductible" does  not make them the best deal--there is NOT a
> direct correlation between  the deductible and the premium--none of this is
> straightforward.   Some are eligible for "Health Savings Accounts" ("HSA'")
> and some are  not.  I thought that I had a "high deductible" policy when I
>  looked into HSA's.  It turns out that even though the deductible was  high,
> because Farm Family also had an additional eye benefit that it  tacked onto
> the Blue Cross-NY, it didn't qualify.   When I  switched to a legally 
defined
> "high deductible" policy that qualified  for an HSA (also with Blue Cross of
> NY), not only did my premium drop  substantially, but ironically so did my
> deductible by $2000!!!  I  lost the eye benefit, but gained a free annual
> physical, which I  thought was a good deal.  My new lower premium ended up
> being  comparable to what I would have paid if I had gone over the State's
>  Catamount program.  The benefit of a HSA (in addition to the lower  
premium)
> is that any money put into the account is not taxable as long  as it is used
> for health care ( I believe that this includes dental  and eye as well?  It
> probably could be used to pay  premiums/co-pays on Dr. Dinosaur as well?).  
I
> believe that the  employeer can deposit money directly into an employee's 
HSA
> account,  and the employee can use the money for both premiums and co-pays,
>  etc?  Check with the insurance company and/or your accountant on  that.  
The
> HSA account can be set up at most any bank (I first  got looking into it 
when
> Chittenden Bank had an article about them in  their "Socially Responsible
> Banking Fund" newsletter).
>   5) Haggle with your insurance company, or at least really press them  on
> getting you the best option.  I had had the unofficial, high  deductible
> policy for a number of years thinking that was the best  deal that I could
> get.  I only got to the official, high  deductible/HSA policy after I told
> Farm Family that I was dropping my  health insurance because the premium was
> increasing so rapidly and  they were raising my deductible.  I told them 
that
> I was going to  go through the waiting period to get back on VHAP/Catamount
> (you used  to have to be without health insurance for a year to be eligible
> for  those State programs.  I think they have dropped that to 6 months  or
> so?), now that our family size was large enough that our income  qualified
> for me to be eligible again.  As soon as the company  realized that they 
were
> going to lose my health insurance account,  they looked around and a day
> later came back with the much cheaper,  better benefit HSA policy.
>
>    Good luck finding your  way through the health care maze.
>
>  Mike
>   Mike Ghia
>  Ewetopia Farm
>  Grazing, Soil, Crop, and  Farm Business Consulting
>  UVM/Intervale Farm Viability Business  Planner
>  UVM Grazing Technical Assistant
>  UVM Center  for Sustainable Agriculture
>  POB 276
>  Saxtons River,  VT 05154
>  (802) 869-1214
>   [log in to unmask]
>
>  ----- Original Message ----- From:  "Howard and Lisa" <[log in to unmask]>
>  To:  <[log in to unmask]>
>  Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009  9:48 AM
>
>  Subject: Re: health  insurance
>
>
>  If you belong to your local Chamber of  Commerce,or your Farmers Market
>  belongs(they should!) you can  buy into the state wide Insurance
>  offered by the Chamber. It has  the best rates going,because of its
>  large group  pool.
>
>  On 3/13/09, Fertile Fields Farm, Lori Schreier and  James Warren
>  <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>  >
> >
> > I never filed a claim with them so even though  I have their policy 
through
> > the Chesapeake Life Insurance Co, I  have no more insight.
> >
> > Lori Schreier
> >  Fertile Fields Farm
> > 916 River Road
> > Westmoreland, NH  03467
> > (603) 399-7772
> >  www.fertilefieldsfarm.com
> >
> >
> > If you want  to go fast, go alone.
> > If you want to go far, go  together.”
> > African proverb
> >
> >
> >  In a message dated 3/13/2009 5:46:36 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> >  [log in to unmask] writes:
> >
> > I went to google the NASE  and lots of reports of scam showed up with 
their
> > insurance.  Anyone have any insight?
> > Richard Wiswall
> > Cate Farm,  VT
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From:  Fertile Fields Farm, Lori Schreier and James Warren
> > To:  [log in to unmask]
> > Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 8:58  AM
> > Subject: Re: health insurance
> >
>  >
> > we have ours from NASE, National Association for the Self  Employed but we
> > don't have employees.
> >
> >  Lori Schreier
> > Fertile Fields Farm
> > 916 River  Road
> > Westmoreland, NH 03467
> > (603) 399-7772
>  > www.fertilefieldsfarm.com
> >
> >
> > If you  want to go fast, go alone.
> > If you want to go far, go  together.”
> > African proverb
> >
> >
> >  In a message dated 3/11/2009 6:37:18 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> >  [log in to unmask] writes:
> >
> >  We are pursuing  health insurance for our employees. If anyone else has
> > pulled  this one off and wants to share wisdom and/or commiserate about it
>  > contact me directly. Thanks, Pete
> >
> >
>  >
> >
> >
> > Pete's Greens at Craftsbury  Village Farm
> > 266 S. Craftsbury Rd, Craftsbury, Vermont  05826
> > 802-586-2882, #7
> > www.petesgreens.com
>  >
> >  ________________________________
> >   Worried about job security? Check out the 5 safest jobs in a  
recession..
> >
> >   ________________________________
> > Worried about job security?  Check out the 5 safest jobs in a recession.
>  >
>
>
>  --
>  Howard and Lisa  Prussack
>  HIGH MEADOWS FARM
>  742 Westminster West  Road
>  Putney, VT  05346
>   802-387-6050
>  [log in to unmask]
>


-- 
Howard  and Lisa Prussack
HIGH MEADOWS FARM
742 Westminster West Road
Putney,  VT   05346
802-387-6050
[log in to unmask]


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