Do Not Let Wait Times Prevent You From Getting Medical Care
Montpelier, VT – (October 7, 2021) – The Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), Department of Vermont Health Access, Office of the Health Care Advocate, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, MVP Health Care, and Cigna together encourage Vermonters to take advantage of consumer resources to help find alternative care if they encounter extended wait times for medical appointments.
“While the State of Vermont continues to examine reports of extended wait times for medical appointments, we want to bring awareness to the consumer resources currently available to help Vermonters struggling to secure medical appointments,” said DFR Commissioner Michael Pieciak.
Commercial health insurers and Vermont Medicaid have resources available to assist consumers with finding primary and specialty care within a reasonable timeframe, including transportation to and from appointments, and telemedicine services. Further, consumers with commercial insurance may be able to see out-of-network providers at in-network rates if no in-network provider is available and accessible on a timely basis.
“Vermonters who need help navigating our health care system can always reach out to the consumer team at the Office of the Health Care Advocate. The team can answer questions, help point the consumer in the right direction or possibly assist resolving the matter altogether,” said Mike Fisher, Vermont’s Chief Health Care Advocate.
- If you are having trouble securing a primary care appointment or do not have a primary care provider, your health insurer may be able to facilitate finding an available appointment.
- If you are having trouble securing a specialty appointment, first contact your Primary Care Practice, who may be able to help find an available appointment.
- If your Primary Care Practice is unable to assist or you do not have a primary provider, your health insurer may also be able to facilitate finding an available appointment.
Health insurer contact information and online consumer tools can be found below:
Resources for Vermont Medicaid Members
If you are a Vermont Medicaid member and experiencing any issues in accessing the care you need, please let us know by calling 1-800-250-8427. Vermont Medicaid members can find Medicaid-participating providers who are accepting new patients by using the “Provider Lookup” (http://vtmedicaid.com/#/providerLookup) or by calling the Customer Support Center at 1-800-250-8427 to ask for help in locating a provider.
Vermont Medicaid members may also be able to get transportation to and from appointments. Information and instructions for scheduling a trip can be found at https://vpta.net/medicaid/ or by calling 1-802-442-0629.
Resources for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont Members
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont offers a robust system to support their members in finding providers for primary care or in any specialty area. Blue Cross has “Find a Doctor Tools” (https://www.bcbsvt.com/find-a-doctor) for in-network local and national providers and Amwell (https://bcbsvt.amwell.com/), which offers convenient online visits with providers from across the care continuum.
The Vermont-based customer support team can help members find providers in any specialty area and is only a phone call away at 800-247-2583.
Resources for MVP Health Care Members
MVP Health Care provides several resources to assist its members with accessing timely care when and where they need it. MVP offers its members a user-friendly Find a Doctor tool (https://www.mvphealthcare.com/members/find-a-doctor/) that can help identify in-network providers that are accepting new patients. Additionally, MVP’s customer care team (https://www.mvphealthcare.com/members/contact-us/) can help members find provider availability and assist with scheduling visits when a member’s current doctor is experiencing longer than normal wait times by calling 1-800-TALK-MVP or the number of the back of their ID card.
Resources for Cigna Members
Cigna Customer Service Advocates are available 24/7/365 to help customers find in-network providers. They can also help connect customers to telehealth (virtual care) services for both medical and mental health care.
Customers should call the number on the back of their Cigna ID card or 1-800-244-6224.
The Office of the Health Care Advocate (HCA) is a free resource available to all Vermonters to solve problems related to healthcare. To get help with a health care issue, call the HCA HelpLine at 1-800-917-7787. You can also ask for help by filling out our Help Request Form at https://vtlawhelp.org/vtlegal_gethelp.
DFR also stands ready to assist Vermonters with health insurance issues. Vermonters are encouraged to contact the Department’s consumer services team if they have any questions or issues call 800-964-1784 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.