The Utah Department of Health announced that it will allow open enrollment for its health coverage plan known as Primary Care Network or PCN. The plan is designed to provide low income people and families with preventative care options, but there are many services it does not cover.
PCN has been closed to enrollment since March 2012, but enough funding currently exists to allow for open enrollment over the next three to four weeks. Kolbi Young is a spokesperson for the Utah Department of Health.
“PCN is a program that’s available for low-income adults that do not qualify for Medicaid in Utah to receive services provided through the primary care provider. Those benefits include physician services, prescriptions, dental exams, emergency room visits, etc,” says Young.
Some of the requirements to qualify for PCN include being a U-S citizen, having no access to other health care coverage and meeting the income guidelines. That means making less than thirty-five thousand dollars a year for a family of four. Judi Hilman is the Executive Director of the Utah Health Policy Project. She says there are many health care scenarios where PCN won’t help.
“It’s prevention oriented primary care only. So, no in-patient hospital care coverage and no specialty care coverage. It’s not that that benefit doesn’t have value. It does. But I think what we’d really like to see families do is when they sign up for the PCN is to also prepare for October 1,” says Hilman
That’s the day that states could begin offering expanded Medicaid coverage and other programs as outlined in the Affordable Care Act. Lawmakers in Utah haven’t decided yet whether or not to expand Medicaid here. A decision by Governor Herbert is expected some later this year. Meanwhile the PCN enrollment period will last until May 6 for adults without children and May 17 for adults with children.