* Utah WILL (sort of) have a state health insurance exchange.
* Utah is still UNDECIDED on whether expanded Medicaid is the correct choice.
The Utah Health Insurance Exchange
Utah was in a unique position when the Affordable Care Act was approved by the Supreme Court as it already had its own health insurance marketplace called Avenue H. But Avenue H is only for small business insurance and cannot be used for individuals and families.
Governor John Huntsman lobbied the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to allow Utah to keep their existing exchange as is (only for small business health insurance) and to allow everyone else in Utah use the federal health insurance exchange. On May 10, 2013 he was successful in getting that approval which will allow Avenue H to cater to small business insurance.
This means that if you live in Utah and need insurance for you and/or your family, starting October 1, 2013 you should go to the national health exchange at healthcare.gov. That exchange should be able to give you a choice of affordable health care insurance options for the year 2014.
As of August 28, 2013 one of Utah’s largest insurers, Regence BlueCross BlueShield, has decided NOT to sell insurance on the new exchange. Insurers that have been approved are:
- Altius Health Plans, Inc.
- Arches Mutual Insurance Co.
- BridgeSpan Health Co.
- Humana Medical Plan of Utah, Inc.
- Molina Healthcare of Utah Inc.
- SelectHealth Inc.
Utah Still Undecided On Expanded Medicaid
Utah is leaning toward not expanding Medicaid but a final decision won’t be made until sometime in 2014. Uncertain future costs and a lack of information from the federal government are just a couple of reasons for the delay in making a decision.
Different groups are making proposals to see if some kind of alternative plan can be developed that would be better for Utah residents and taxpayers Utah does have a health insurance problem and governor Gary Herbert understands that expanded Medicaid would be welcome in many parts of the state where low income families live.