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Introduced by   Senator Ayer of Addison District and Senator Giard of Addison District

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Health; prevention; migrant workers; agriculture; food service; screening; diagnosis

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to create a public health program for agricultural and food service workers to provide preventive and prenatal health services and education.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  33 V.S.A. chapter 19, subchapter 9 is added to read:

Subchapter 9.  Healthy Workers Program

§ 2091.  Policy and purpose

It is the intention of the general assembly to establish the healthy workers program to provide preventive health services, prenatal care, outreach, and education to workers employed in the Vermont agricultural and food service sectors.

§ 2092.  Definitions

For the purposes of this subchapter,

(1)  “Agency” means the agency of human services.

(2)  “Health service” shall have the same meaning as in section 4080f of Title 8.

(3)  “Immunizations” shall have the same meaning as in section 1130 of Title 18.

(4)  “Preventive care” shall have the same meaning as in section 4080f of Title 8 and shall include screening for communicable disease and lead.

(5)  “Resident” shall have the same meaning as in section 1982 of this title.

(6)  “Secretary” means the secretary of human services.

§ 2093.  Eligibility

(a)  An individual shall be eligible for coverage of health services through the healthy workers program if the individual is a resident employed by a Vermont business in the agricultural or food service sector or residing with an eligible worker.  An individual’s citizenship shall not be a factor of eligibility.

(b)  An individual shall be eligible if the individual’s household income is less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty guideline for that individual’s family size.

§ 2094.  Covered Services; Premiums

(a)  The healthy workers program shall provide payment to health care professionals for preventive care and prenatal health services.  Immunizations may be provided by the department of health through the immunization program established by section 1130 of Title 18 or under this subchapter.  Prenatal health services shall be covered to the same extent as under the Medicaid program.

(b)  The secretary may establish sliding-scale premiums based on income for the program which are equivalent to or less than the premiums for the equivalent income level in the Vermont health access program or Catamount Health assistance program.

§ 2095.  Administration

(a)  The agency or designee shall administer the healthy workers program and shall create a companion education and outreach program to provide information and instruction to eligible individuals and their families.  The agency may contract with the University of Vermont medical school for the provision of the education and outreach program.

(b)  The agency or designee shall seek federal financial participation in this program to the extent allowed by federal law or waiver from federal law.

(c)  The agency or designee shall establish rules pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3 on the specific criteria to demonstrate eligibility and provide coverage for services.

(d)  An individual aggrieved of an adverse decision under this subchapter may appeal to the human services board.

Sec. 2.  21 V.S.A. § 495(g) is added to read:

(g)  The provisions of this section prohibiting discrimination on the basis of national origin shall include citizenship status.

Sec. 3.  21 V.S.A. § 470(2) is amended to read:

(2)  “Employee” means a person who, in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, has been continuously employed by the same employer for a period of one year for an average of at least 30 hours per week regardless of citizenship status.


This act shall be effective upon passage, except that the agency shall implement the healthy workers program on or before July 1, 2008.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont