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Utah, now the fastest growing state in the country, has seen major changes not just in its population, but in its health insurance sector, too. And while these come in both good and not-so-positive updates, there are still several things to look forward to this 2017, despite the average rate increase that the entire nation was subjected to.

Read on to find out more about what you can expect this year from your coverage.

Contents

Slightly above average health ranking

In the 2015 Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance, Utah bested 32 other places, including District of Columbia. Ranked 18th, it showed exemplary performance in the study’s Avoidable Hospital Use & Costs and Healthy Lives categories, getting the highest possible score of quintile 1. For Equity, it scored a 2, although it performed below average for Access and Prevention & Treatment, getting only 3 for both.

Take a look at these findings under the state’s “Healthy Lives” scorecard:

  • Mortality amenable to healthcare: 61 out of 100,000 people

  • Breast cancer fatalities: 20.3 out of 100,000 women

  • Colorectal cancer fatalities: 10.9 out of 100,000 people

  • Percentage of adult smokers: 9%

  • Adult obesity: 25%

  • Obesity in children aged 10-17: 22%

As for access to insurance, here are some statistical comparisons:

  • 16% of adults (19 to 64 years old) don’t have insurance, compared with the national average of 15%

  • 9% of children (infants to 18 years old) are uninsured, as opposed to the countrywide average of 6%

  • 14% of the adult population chose not to obtain insurance due to the high costs associated with it, in comparison with the 16% average in the U. S.

  • 16% of adults had expensive out-of-pocket medical bills, 4% fewer than the 16% national average

More residents are now insured

Over the years, the Beehive State managed to improve upon its uninsured rating. Keep in mind that this is one of the major factors insurance companies take into consideration when calculating rates, and so the state somehow prevented exorbitant increases this year.

According to a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services report, it used to have a 15.3% uninsured rating back in 2010. At the time of the study’s conclusion, this went down to 10.5%, representing a 4.7% reduction. Put simply, 143,000 more people, from the estimated population then of 2,995,919 (2015, latest data1), finally became insured.

Projected premium averages after rate increases for 2017

Utah’s rate increases within its exchange average at 31.1%; 6.1% higher than the national average of 25%. This is still low though, as some other places now face premiums 40%, 50%, or even higher than last year.

You can use these projections from the United States Department of Health & Human Services to gauge how much you may have to pay for this year towards your own premiums:

  • Average lowest-cost, monthly premium within metal level: $330

  • Average net premium for lowest cost plan within metal tier: $115

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $294

  • Second-lowest silver after advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $142

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a family of four with a $60,000 household income): $950

  • Second-lowest silver after advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $405

Easier-to-access insurance for improving quality of life

Having health insurance is integral for leading a much better quality of life. With coverage, people can undergo medical services that can significantly help them improve their health. And because this gives them a way to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses, they can seek medical help without worrying about the exorbitant cost associated with it. And if UT manages to further increase the number of its residents with coverage, the entire state can benefit from better premiums.

References:

https://www.healthinsurance.org/utah/

http://datacenter.commonwealthfund.org/scorecard/state/46/utah/

https://aspe.hhs.gov/compilation-state-data-affordable-care-act

https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/212721/2017MarketplaceLandscapeBrief.pdf

1Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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