Rates rising, but Obamacare is stable in Utah

Posted at 6:25 PM, Aug 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-18 20:25:47-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act is feeling the pain of high costs, but the Utah Marketplace is largely insulated from instability because of locally-based providers.

That's the word from Utah's Health Policy Project as they look at troubles nationally, which are related to Aetna and United Healthcare leaving exchanges.

"The insurers we have here in Utah are really homegrown," said Jason Stevenson, Director of Education and Communications at UHPP.

SelectHealth, the insurance arm of Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare, insures about 130,000 of the 175,000 Utahns on the ACA exchange.

SelectHealth, Molina, and the University of Utah have all turned in paperwork with the Utah Department of Insurance to raise rates for the coming year.

SelectHealth and Molina each intend increases of about 30 percent, while the U has requested a 4.5 percent hike.

Increases have come each year on the exchange, but Stevenson with the UHPP says most Utah customers get subsidies from the federal government that soften the blow.

"When we looked at people last year, as long as they shopped around and found a good plan, their premiums might have gone up one or two dollars a month even with those thirty percent increases," Stevenson said.

Jamee Wright with SelectHealth provided a statement to Fox 13, assuring customers that they have no plans to go the way of United Health Care and Aetna:

"Along with many other health insurance plans across the country, SelectHealth has experienced significantly higher than expected medical costs in the individual market. Despite these challenges, SelectHealth is a financially sound company with adequate financial resources to meet its claims and other expense obligations.

SelectHealth is committed to serving all communities and will continue to offer Individual plans through, the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM), and on the Your Health Idaho (YHI) marketplace in 2017."

The Utah Health Policy Project suggests two ways to get information about the exchange, either call 211 or click here.