For those who want insurance on January 1st, Monday was the deadline to purchase it under the Affordable Care Act. So far, Utah is at the top of the list for enrollees.
Ninety thousand forty-two. That’s the number of people in Utah who signed up for insurance under the ACA so far this year. In fact, it represents the biggest increase of people enrolling of any state in the country, according to the Utah Health Policy Project.
"We’re trying to figure out why so many Utahns are signing up this year when there’s so much turmoil and uncertainty this year," says Jason Stevenson.
Stevenson works with the Salt Lake City group that helps sign residents up for insurance.
The most likely reason, of course, is that some Utahns are trying to make sure they have insurance before the incoming Trump Administration and a Republican controlled Congress consider a possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Stevenson also has another theory about the increase. With Utah having the highest percentage of kids signed up for the ACA of any state in the country, he believes parents are trying to make sure their families are covered before open enrollment ends.
"They’re being proactive, they’re signing up early and they’re locking in their insurance for 2017," Stevenson says.
With a little over a month left before the final sign up date for a 2017 health plan, Stevenson expects the trend to continue. In the meantime, Governor Herbert and Utah Insurance Commissioner Todd Kiser have started working with Congress to lay out what they hope to keep from the health care law and what they plan to cut.