Last week Molina Healthcare announced it would no longer offer health insurance plans to Utah residents on the federal exchange in 2018.
In a prepared statement, representatives from Molina Healthcare described their choice to leave Utah’s health insurance marketplace as a business decision. They cited challenges in keeping premiums affordable, uncertainty about cost-sharing payments, and volatility of the individual market as motivating factors.
Steve Gooch is the Public Information Officer with the Utah Insurance Department.
"People who have their insurance through Molina will be notified prior to open enrollment that their policy will be terminated and they’ll need to go shopping," Gooch says.
Gooch says approximately 70,500 Utahns are expected to lose coverage when Molina leaves the Obamacare exchange. Molina Representatives said individuals with Medicaid and Medicare coverage through their company will not be affected by the change.
The decision is part of a broader cost saving plan at Molina. Representatives said the company’s workforce will also be reduced by approximately 10 percent, including some employees in Utah.
For individuals who want to change to one of Utah’s other marketplace plans with Select Health or the University of Utah, open enrollment will go from November 1st to December 15th. That’s a shorter window than usual, according to Jason Stevenson with the Utah Health Policy Project.
"It’s a short open enrollment season this year. The Trump Administration basically cut it in half, from 90 days to 45 days," he says.
Stevenson says Molina plans will still provide coverage through 2017.
"It’s not going away tomorrow or next week, it’s good until the end of the year," Stevenson says.
Talking with an insurance agent is free. They can be found through the Utah Insurance Department website.