Although cost savings are a key component of the plan, the report cautioned that money should not be the only factor when measuring success. "Ultimately, accomplishments will be measured against several standards, including the health of the population, satisfaction of both providers and patients, and the financial sustainability of the system."
Nonetheless, the report said more precise estimates of any projected savings for state-sponsored universal care could be difficult right now because nobody really knows what the plan will look like.
"The actual savings will be determined by decisions yet to be made by the Green Mountain Care Board, the executive branch, and the general assembly, as well as the impact of national initiatives and policy changes, including the amount of federal financial support that we can anticipate," the report's authors wrote.
That savings would be dependent, for example, on cost-containment measures that include payment reform, delivery system changes, and reductions in provider costs—particularly simplifying administrative and paperwork costs that are now associated with private health plans.
If the healthcare system takes action on those and other cost-cutting measures, savings will begin in 2014 and "rise rapidly for the next several years," according to the report.
That savings will also require "substantial investments" in the program's infrastructure, which could cost between $50 million and $150 million.