Posts Tagged - ‘utah health insurance’

Post border

Affordable Health Insurance Grants for Utah’s Native Americans

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Image: Bob Rosenberg under CC 3.0

Native Americans are one of the demographics most likely to be uninsured. Although a majority of them are eligible for affordable health insurance through CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) and Medicaid, they still struggle with access, especially on reservations.

The new healthcare reform law includes a grant for nearly $1 million to help Utah’s many tribes access health care. The smaller tribes are less likely to have charitable clinics established.

What will the grants cover? Their purposes include outreach from the Utah Navajo Health System to the nearby town of White Mesa, where there is a large American Indian population. 10 to 15 percent of children living there are enrolled in CHIP, when up to 95 percent are estimated to be eligible for that Utah health insurance plan. Several other walk-in clinics in the state will also receive grants.

Post border
Post border

Utah Individual Health Insurance Rates Go Up

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Image: debaird under CC 3.0

Similar to those in other states, Utah health insurance companies are raising their premiums. They blame the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law for forcing them to prepare for decreased profits later.

Although state law allows insurers to charge as much as they believe the market will bear, some consumer advocates are worried that filings for rate increases are considered proprietary business information and kept secret. Therefore, few health insurance buyers know what they’re getting into. Most rate changes aren’t known of unless a policyholder speaks out and complains to the media, as they did in this case.

The federal government is looking to states to strengthen their enforcement and prevent “rate creep”, which makes Democrats look bad in the mid-term election season. Humana has raised Utah individual health insurance rates by 29%, while Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield has increased some Medicare Advantage premiums by 48%.

Post border
Post border

Utah Health Insurance Becomes More Expensive

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Image: debaird™ under CC 3.0

Historically, health insurance coverage has been relatively cheap in Utah. A lower cost of living and frugal culture have led to that, as well as a heavily Mormon population that doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol (and is therefore less susceptible to related diseases). Unfortunately, the situation is changing.

What’s happening? A higher number of medical tests and procedures are performed in the state, in more doctor-owned for-profit clinics. The costs are then passed onto policyholders by Utah health insurance providers.

Healthcare reform has encouraged more free-spending states to look at cost-effective regions (with quality care) as role models, but that strategy may make less sense when those areas are also ramping up spending.

Post border