2017 Health Insurance Exchange open enrollment began November 1, but you have until December 15 to sign up to be covered by insurance on January 1st. Utah uses the Federal Exchange, but according to healthinsurance.org, premiums for Utah purchasers will be rising an average of 31%. Unfortunately, Humana has also decided to exit the Utah exchange for 2017 and is not offering medical policies except for dental plans, so our state will have less choices at a higher cost.
By March of this year, 164,415 Utahns had Obamacare coverage, up from 128,220 in 2015. More than 88% are lowering their premiums through subsidies. Hopefully, this should offset a large percentage of the increase in premiums.
However, it is worth noting that the premiums in Utah were well below the national average in 2016. The average premium, before reduction due to any subsidies, was $271 per month, the lowest of all 38 states that participate in the Federal Healthcare Exchange. In fact, the second-lowest, the state of Arizona, was $324 per month, a significantly higher premium rate than the state of Utah.
The three insurers remaining that will offer health plans in 2017 are:
- University of Utah Health Plans: Will offer PPO plans and will raise their rates only 4.47% on average. However, their plans will have a tremendous variance of both increases and even decreases in rates, from a 63% increase to a 41% decrease, depending on the plan you choose. So, it pays to carefully compare their plans and premiums. They have only 1909 people enrolled.
- Select Health: Will offer HMO plans with an average 30.1 rate increase. They currently have 138,208 enrolled, with the largest enrollment for an insurer offering plans on the 2017 exchange.
- Molina: Will offer HMO plans with an average 37.2% increase in premium rates. They currently have 31,892 enrollees in their 2016 plans.
The Utah Insurance Department’s website has further information about how the rate increase requests are evaluated and determined. You can also see what a 21-year-old would have to pay for each plan in every Utah county for comparison. These rates will be quoted before any subsidies are taken into account, and the rates would be lower if the person qualified for a subsidy.
Please contact the experienced attorneys at Spencer & Collier, LLC at 801-566-1884 for all your legal needs.