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Another One Bites the Dust

Humana is pulling out of the individual insurance marketplace in Utah, according to the Utah Department of Insurance. With the closure of Arches Health Plan last year, that leaves Utah with three carriers on the exchange for 2017: Molina, SelectHealth and University of Utah Health Plans.

According to the department, Humana currently covers about 9,000 of the 164,400 Utahns on the federal marketplace. Its exit will leave residents in Davis and Salt Lake counties with three carriers to choose from. Meanwhile, 20 out of 29 counties in Utah continue to have just one insurer to choose from on the federal marketplace for individual plans: SelectHealth.

Predictions that premiums will rise again next year are already starting. That's looking likely in Utah: Molina has requested an average rate increase of 34 percent, SelectHealth an average rate increase of of 30 percent and University of Utah Health an average rate increase of 5 percent. The Utah Department of Insurance reviews and approves those hikes, usually in September or October.

In a press call on Wednesday, federal officials reminded people that most individuals who shop around are usually able to find a plan for around the same price as their previous one. Katie Martin, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services acting assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, said the average premium increase on last year was $4 per month — after subsidies — despite headlines warning about soaring health insurance premiums. About 88 percent of Utah's marketplace enrollees are receiving subsidies that will likely offset much of the premium increase for 2017, according to the department. However, those who don't qualify for subsidies are likely to face higher rates.

So what's a fella to do? Open enrollment for individual health plans starts on November 1st this year. With us expecting rate hikes in the neighborhood of 30%, anyone with an individual health insurance plan needs to update their application to qualify for HIGHER 2017 subsidies to offset the rate increases. Not sure what to do or where to start? This is where we come in. We are EXPERTS at navigating the Affordable Care Act and and we can help you. Call us today and we can look over your options and help you get the most coverage for your dollar. We're at 801-609-8699.

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