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


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]