Obama administration memos released this week reveal that Utah insurance officials requested to shut down the state’s shopping portion of the federal exchange last month. The request was made after Utah’s biggest issuer, SelectHealth, was not appearing on the website marketplace.
Utah’s Assistant Insurance Commissioner Tanji Northrup says it took a few days after the federal exchange was launched on October 1st to figure out there was a major problem.
More than 4000 Utahns have been stalled in their efforts to get health insurance because federal and state computer systems are not yet able to communicate. Officials from the state Department of Workforce Services say Utah was ready when the exchange went online October 1st, but the federal system was not.
The federal health insurance exchange opened for business Tuesday, and state regulators have revealed the rates that Utahns have to choose from. In Salt Lake and Davis Counties, there is one insurer who has lower price plans than the rest. But insurance experts say consumers should look at more than just monthly premiums when making their choice.
Open enrollment for the new health exchange marketplace starts October 1st, and Utahns will have a variety of options for health insurance. Among the choices is a new insurance provider called Arches Health Plan. Arches is a non-profit cooperative governed by its members. Joining KUER in studio is the CEO Linn Baker, who has a long history with healthcare in Utah. He was founder and executive of the state’s Public Employee's Health Program for more than three decades.