Utah could save millions of dollars and provide health insurance to about 123,000 people if the state expands Medicaid. That was the conclusion of an independent cost-benefit analysis commissioned by the state.
Many Utahns with preexisting medical conditions will see their health insurance shifted from state to federal oversight in July. After federal funding ran short for the “high-risk” insurance pool, state officials have refused to take on any additional costs. And federal health officials have refused to allow Select Health, the insurer that administers the program for Utah, to take responsibility.
Utah has come to an agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services on how it will run its exchange – or health insurance marketplace. HHS has approved Utah’s first-of-its-kind proposal to split state and federal responsibilities. Under the agreement, Utah will continue running the state exchange known as Avenue H for small businesses. The federal government will run a separate exchange for individual consumers.
Utah considers walking away from a high risk insurance pool, the University of Utah considers stricter rules for skateboarders, and Dan Nailen shares why Salt Lake is in for night after night after night of good music.
Utah is telling the federal government it’s not willing to take on more of the risk and the cost of insuring people with pre-existing health conditions. The US Department of Health and Human Services wants to cap federal spending on state-run high-risk pools because they are running out of funding. The Utah Governor’s office has until Friday to decide whether to absorb those costs in the state, or transition enrollees into a federal program – which they say will cost more out of pocket.
A select group of healthcare providers, advocates, and community leaders met at the State Capitol Tuesday to discuss Medicaid, and the state’s pending decision on whether to expand the program to include more uninsured, low-income Utahns. Utah Department of Health Executive Director David Patton brought together about 20 people for the Medicaid workgroup.
Wednesday night, the Utah Senate guaranteed that Governor Gary Herbert will play a key role in deciding if the state will expand its Medicaid program. Lawmakers in both chambers approved a substitute bill that now sets guidelines for how the Governor will make his decision.
Supporters of expanding Utah’s Medicaid program under the President’s health care plan don’t expect to see a decision during the legislative session. But they came to Utah's state capitol Friday to make their point anyway.
There were about a hundred people on the capitol steps for a rally in support of Medicaid expansion, but many more links in the paper chains they brought along. Each of the 150-thousand links represents a Medicaid client in Utah – somebody like Stacey Stanford, who’s been in a wheelchair since a car accident in 2010.
State Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck talks about her bill that would begin the process of expanding Medicaid in Utah. She and other members of the Democratic caucus are calling on Governor Gary Herbert to expand the program.
Utah Democrats in the state legislature called on Governor Gary Herbert today to move forward with increasing Medicaid coverage. States have the option to expand their programs under the Affordable Care Act.
A new report shows that Utah’s economy would benefit from an expansion of Medicaid, creating thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity.
The report comes from the national nonprofit organization Families USA and Utah Health Policy Project. UHPP Director Judi Hilman told KUER an expansion of Medicaid will allow millions of federal dollars to flow into Utah, stimulating the economy.
Healthcare advocates converged on the Capitol Friday to encourage lawmakers to expand Medicaid to more low income residents, but state lawmakers held off on debate for now, and said the Governor will have to make the decision.
Family physician Ray Ward kicked off the meeting of the Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee with an impassioned plea for the expansion of Medicaid to cover an estimated 145,000 more low-income Utahns.
The federal government has conditionally approved Utah’s health insurance exchange known as Avenue H. But the feds say more work needs to be done for the state-based exchange to be compliant with the Affordable Care Act.
The state’s Health System Reform Task Force had its final meeting Monday before the legislative session, but questions remain about health reform - in particular, who will run Utah’s health insurance exchange.
The Utah Department of Health has hired an outside firm to study the costs and benefits of expanding Medicaid in the state. The department has been gathering feedback from the public on what should be considered in the study.
Christina Osburn has a brain tumor and epilepsy. She’s been on Medicaid for more than 10 years, but she expects to lose that coverage because her income will soon exceed the threshold to qualify.
Governor Gary Herbert sent a letter to President Barack Obama Tuesday morning asking the federal government to let Utah keep Avenue H, the state’s health insurance exchange, without making changes to it.
Low-income advocates are asking Governor Gary Herbert to remember Utahns who can’t afford basic healthcare this holiday season. On Friday, staff from Crossroads Urban Center and some uninsured Utahns presented results from a survey showing the connection between hunger and high healthcare costs.
Crossroads Urban Center surveyed more than 300 of the people they helped with food this year. Marjorie Hurder is a Social Justice Advocate at the Center, and she conducted many of the interviews.
Governor Gary Herbert sent a letter Monday morning to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The letter declares the Governor’s intentions to continue to pursue Utah’s state-based health insurance exchange – known as Avenue H, rather than a federally-designed exchange. But the letter also says that this decision could change as the state receives more information.
Enclosed with Governor Gary Herbert’s letter is a list of top ten unanswered questions about federal exchanges.
The Affordable Care Act promises to extend the reach of health care coverage to many people who don’t have it now. Critics say it will do that at a huge cost in both money and individual liberty. But the mandate in the law for nearly everyone to buy health insurance has been upheld by the U-S Supreme Court and that requirement will take effect in 2014. The question facing Utah and the rest of country is how to implement the provisions that are maintained by the states.
Utah’s Health Exchange has a new name, along with a new website. State leaders say they want to distance themselves from the Affordable Care Act. Starting Thursday, the program which connects small businesses with health insurance carriers will be called Avenue H.
Utah Congressman Rob Bishop is pushing for legislation that would reform the current Medicaid program. The State Health Flexibility Act would introduce a federal block grant program designed to be administered by the states.
The recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act determined that states can maintain current levels of Medicaid funding, even if they do not expand the population that is eligible for coverage. Congressman Rob Bishop sees an opportunity.
Utah’s Congressional delegation all voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. House Wednesday including Democrat Jim Matheson.
Republicans Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop voted along party lines, but Matheson was one of only five Democrats who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Matheson says he has consistently opposed the bill.
Since the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, governors in four states have declared they will not expand Medicaid. Utah is currently undecided. State lawmakers met Tuesday to review the Supreme Court’s decision - and Utah’s options.
Republican Representative James Dunnigan of Taylorsville is chair of the state’s Health System Reform Task Force. He says the expansion of Medicaid is a big policy decision for Utah, and lawmakers are still gathering information.
The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act leaves Utah to decide for itself whether it wants to expand Medicaid. The court determined that the federal government cannot withhold states' Medicaid allotment if they don't increase their coverage levels. But the federal government can provide extra funds to those states who do choose to expand Medicaid.
Supporters of the Affordable Care Act collected at the Capitol today to talk about what the Supreme Court ruling means for Utah. Judi Hillman, Executive Director for the Utah Health Policy Project, says that changes included in the ACA can now move forward in Utah – including insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.
Republican leaders in Utah were uniformly critical of Thursday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, saying it threatens the nation's economic recovery and could sharpen the partisan divide.
In his monthly news conference on KUED, Utah Governor Gary Herbert said, "This has divided the country terribly and taken our eye off the ball on economic recovery. I do believe, if you want to repeal Obamacare, you need to repeal Obama."
Utah lawmakers signed a compact this year that allows the state to opt out of federal health care reform and find its own solution to health care funding problems. But Utah’s participation in the interstate compact may hinge on the US Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on the Affordable Care Act.
Utahns on individual or small business health plans have a chance to weigh in on the conditions and services they think should be covered by insurance. The Utah Health System Reform Task Force will be taking public comment Tuesday afternoon on its Essential Health Benefit Package. The federal Affordable Care Act requires that Utah choose among 10 different packages that will determine the bas
States are awaiting a decision from the US Supreme Court on provisions of the Affordable Care Act,which will require all Americans to purchase health insurance or face a fine. But Utah’s Republican Senator Orrin Hatch is vowing to repeal the law, regardless of the court’s decision. Hatch and Wyoming Senator John Barrasso spoke at a meeting of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Health Reform Task Force Wednesday morning.