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Today is the deadline for public comment on a federal proposal allowing health insurers to offer new short-term insurance plans. Some say it’s another step towards dismantling the Affordable Care Act.

Austen Diamond / KUER

For the first time the federal government has allowed states to develop work requirements for people on Medicaid, the low-income government health insurance program. It’s a big change, requiring people to work in exchange for health care. Utah is one of 10 states that applied to do it. At least one bill in the legislature is sketching out what work requirements could look like.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Expanding Medicaid has long been a controversial subject in Utah. But a new poll shows a majority of Utahns support greater access to low-income health insurance under an upcoming citizen ballot initiative. 

Erik Neumann / KUER

Today is the last day of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. With this year’s shortened sign up period, enrollment in Utah is lower than last year. 

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In Utah approximately 19,500 kids are on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP. It provides coverage for uninsured kids in low-to-middle-income households. But so far, the reauthorization of that program has stalled in Congress. 

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Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, starts tomorrow. Obamacare was threatened with repeal numerous times this year but for now it’s still the law. 

Obamacare Rates Could Jump For Some Next Year

Sep 28, 2017
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The Utah Insurance Department announced their rates for next year’s Obamacare health plans on Thursday. It’s a significant increase, but it won’t affect everyone equally. 

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A Utah nonprofit that helps people sign up for health insurance recently learned they’ll be getting much less money from the federal government next year. They help people sign up for Obamacare and low-income health insurance programs. 

Healthcare Depot Opens Up Shop at Valley Fair Mall

Jan 1, 2016
Andrea Smardon / KUER

There’s a new storefront at Valley Fair Mall in West Valley City, but they’re not selling shoes or clothes. They’re in the business of healthcare.

Feds Want More Utahns to Sign up for Health Insurance

Dec 15, 2015
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US Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell wants Utahns to sign up for health insurance if they haven’t done so yet. On average, insurance companies in Utah are raising premium rates 10 to 20 percent in the coming year, and three insurers have dropped out of the marketplace entirely, but Burwell insists Utahns should be able to find affordable coverage.

Health officials are cutting the ribbon Wednesday on a new clinic in West Valley City intended to provide a medical home for those who are uninsured or underserved.

During this open enrollment period for health insurance, the White House has issued a challenge to 20 communities across the country, including greater Salt Lake City.

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Thousands of Utahns are looking for new insurance now that the state’s nonprofit cooperative Arches Health Plan is closing its doors. Those living in rural areas don’t have a lot of options.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Some Utah drug treatment centers have allegedly been collecting millions of dollars in insurance payments for services they never provided, but it’s not clear what can be done to stop the fraud.

Utahns who buy their health insurance through the federal exchange can expect substantial rate increases next year. The Utah Insurance Department updated the state Health Reform Task Force on the changes Thursday.

Summit Helps Utah Families Prepare for Autism Mandate

Sep 25, 2015

Next year, many health insurance providers in Utah will be required to cover autism treatment. A summit is taking place on Monday to help prepare parents for the state’s autism mandate.

A new film about the healthcare coverage gap in Utah is screening at the University of Utah college of law Tuesday night. It’s called Donut Hole.

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Earlier this week, the chair of the Utah Democratic party Peter Corroon criticized state Republican lawmakers for failing to act on a Medicaid expansion. He said all he could do was pray the governor would call a special legislative session to resolve the issue. Corroon’s prayers may be answered before the end of the year.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah Democrats are blasting Republicans for not taking action to provide healthcare to low-income citizens. They held a press conference Tuesday saying a Medicaid expansion is long overdue.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A coalition of Utah progressives, religious leaders, and advocates for the poor launched a campaign Wednesday to demand action on the healthcare coverage gap for low income citizens.

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This month, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision on King v. Burwell. The plaintiffs in the case claim tax credits in states that use the federal health insurance exchange are illegal. If the High Court stops these subsidies, many people across the country will be required to pay the full premiums on their insurance. Utah stands to lose more than most.

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Up until now, autism was not covered by health insurance in Utah, but that’s about to change. Treatment options available in the state are adapting to the new policies. One partnership is going to expand the number of children with autism who can be treated.

Utah GOP Leaders “Start Over” on Medicaid Plan

Apr 30, 2015
Utah Governor's Office

Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Republican legislative leaders said they were optimistic Wednesday after leaving a meeting in Washington with federal officials, but they say they’re starting over to find an agreement on Medicaid.

Avenue H

More small Utah businesses are turning to the state-based health insurance marketplace known as Avenue H to offer healthcare benefits to employees.

More Utah children with autism will soon have access to behavioral therapy. The state is preparing to expand its Medicaid program to include autism services.

Utahns “Lined Up Out the Door” for Health Insurance

Feb 13, 2015

This weekend is the deadline to buy health insurance through the federal marketplace. Utah's second open enrollment period for insurance through the Affordable Care Act closes on February 15th.

More Utahns Signing Up for Obamacare

Jan 1, 2015

New Obamacare enrollment numbers are in. When Matthew Slonaker of Utah Health Policy Project looks at how many people in the state signed up for insurance in the first month of this enrollment period, he sees good news.

Governor Herbert Unveils Health Plan Details

Dec 4, 2014
Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert officially unveiled his plan Thursday to close the coverage gap and help low income Utahns get health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.

A regional director for US Department of Health and Human Services is in Utah to raise awareness about the second open enrollment period for health insurance.

Kim Gillan is the HHS Regional Director for six states in the Rocky Mountain region, but for the moment, her role in Utah is to be a health insurance cheerleader. Gillan says healthcare.gov is much more user friendly than it was in the first rollout and it’s operating smoothly.

Utah Gets Ready for Open Enrollment Season

Nov 13, 2014

Some people might think of November as the beginning of the holiday season, but for those involved in the health insurance field – it’s the beginning of another open enrollment season. Jason Stevenson of Utah Health Policy Project joins us to answer questions about health insurance this enrollment season, which begins Saturday, November 15th.

More information about open enrollment is available at Take Care Utah.

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