Utahns hit with higher healthcare costs and premiums

Apr 24, 2018, 11:24 AM | Updated: Apr 25, 2018, 1:02 pm
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

A new report shows Utahns are getting hit by higher healthcare costs, higher premiums, and higher out-of-pocket expenses.

The Utah Foundation says premiums for healthcare plans at work rose by about one-third from 2006 to 2016. Research analyst Sam Brucker says it might have been much larger if not for high-deductible plans.

“Employers are shifting the cost to the employee,” she said.

Brucker says the high-deductible plans are fine until they actually need to be used.

“This could be a high cost burden for Utah families, this additional out-of-pocket expense,” she said.

Key findings of the report include:

About 61% of Utahns purchase health insurance through employers. This is the highest in the nation and significantly higher than the U.S. average of 49%.

Enrollment in high-deductible plans in Utah has increased from 3% to 30% during the past decade.

The average total premium for an employer-sponsored individual plan in Utah increased by an inflation-adjusted 34% from 2006 to 2016, and 30% for a family plan.

Despite significant increases in premiums since 2006 in the employer-sponsored market, the increases are modest compared to the increases in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The average deductible for individual and family employer-sponsored plans in Utah both nearly doubled from 2006-2016.

On average, premiums for both individuals and families with employer-sponsored health insurance in Utah remain below a broadly accepted affordability benchmark of 10% of median income.

The benchmark silver plan on the federal Marketplace in Salt Lake County increased 62% from 2017 to 2018, in part to compensate for the loss of federal cost-sharing reduction subsidies in the Marketplace.

Half of Utah Medicare beneficiaries are low- to moderate-income, but do not qualify for Medicaid, potentially leaving them with high medical cost-burdens.

In recent years, the key factors increasing insurance premiums nationally include: the rising cost of health care, increased risk in the health insurance pool, the loss of federal subsidies, uncertainty in national health care policy and consolidation in the insurance industry.

Today’s Top Stories


President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 202...
Donald Judd, CNN

President Joe Biden officially cleared to emerge from isolation following rebound Covid-19 case

 President Joe Biden was officially cleared to emerge from isolation Sunday after a second negative Covid-19 test, his physician announced.
17 hours ago
Curt Gresseth

Subaru Outback outscores other midsize cars in new side-crash test

The 2022 Subaru Outback outscored six other midsize sedans in an updated side-crash test, which more accurately reflects real-world conditions than the previous test.
17 hours ago
costco samples senior hours...
Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business

The mysterious companies behind Costco’s Kirkland Signature and Trader Joe’s O’s

As prices surge, store brands -- also known as private labels, white labels or generic brands -- have become an even more attractive option for inflation-fatigued shoppers who are looking to switch from pricier name brands. Store brands can be anywhere from 10% to 50% cheaper.
2 days ago
Utah COVID update...
Michael Lee, writer

Long-term COVID symptoms persist in 1 in 8 adult patients, study says

The study, published in peer-review journal The Lancet, looked at groups of adults diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those who were uninfected, and examined whether they developed new or worsening disease symptoms
2 days ago
Utah lake bloom algal...
Simone Seikaly

Utah Lake algal bloom still at harmful levels says DEQ

Utah Lake visitors are asked not to drink the water near an algal bloom, to avoid swimming and water skiing, and to thoroughly clean fish that are caught.
3 days ago
Utah Clean Air Partnership urges Utahns to take steps toward cleaner air....
Martha Harris

“Live to Breathe” campaign encourages steps for clean air

Utah Clean Air Partnership's "Live to Breathe" campaign encourages Utahns to take meaningful steps toward cleaner air.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Utahns hit with higher healthcare costs and premiums