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For all its merits, Utah has had a somewhat shaky history with health insurance.
In 2020, Wendy Leonard reported for Deseret News that many Utahns find health care difficult to afford. The study ranked Utah 35th out of 42 states surveyed by the Altarum Healthcare Value Hub.
“It’s disappointing to see Utah rank so low on health care affordability, but it’s not surprising since most people in our state struggle to afford health care,” said Courtney Bullard, director for Education and Collaboration at the Utah Health Policy Project Deseret News.
Regardless of personal circumstances, no one should worry about getting the care they need. But if you’re among the group that’s struggling to afford market coverage for you and your family, you probably qualify for a Utah-based program that offers marketplace health insurance at very little cost or for free.
Read on to see how this program can help you during the November 1st through January 15th open registration period.
Speak to a community health center registration specialist
Utah Community Health Centers are here to help you every step of the way as you explore insurance market options for the year ahead. Your assistance with enrollment and applying for additional financial aid is free of charge.
A community health center enrollment specialist will guide you through all the health insurance options available to you and your family, ensuring you get the best coverage at the lowest possible cost for your situation. An enrollment specialist will also help you complete an application for the Health Insurance Premium Support (HIPS) program, which could further reduce your costs.
How it works
The Health Insurance Premium Support program provides low-cost to no-cost health insurance to eligible individuals. If you meet eligibility requirements, which many Utahns do, HIPS will pay all or part of your monthly health insurance premium.
HIPS also helps cover unexpected and long-term costs. Some of these include emergency care, preventative care, physical therapy, and medication coverage.
Speaking to KSL.com in 2021, Alan Pruhs, Managing Director of AUCH, said: “Although uninsured patients can get affordable primary care at a community health center, they often face a huge financial burden following a serious illness. Emergency care or other specialty care not provided by a health center…HIPS helps eliminate or reduce health insurance premiums for individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet. Quality health insurance provides peace of mind in the event of a medical emergency.”
If you meet the requirements for additional financial assistance, you can enroll at your local community health center. A registration specialist will guide you through the process and help you register for free.
Are you qualified?
Many Utahns will qualify for this program. Be sure to contact a community health center enrollment specialist during the November 1 through January 15 open enrollment period for help finding an affordable marketplace plan and verifying your eligibility for financial assistance to pay for your coverage.
You will need to have your eligibility confirmed by an enrollment specialist, but these are the preliminary qualification standards:
- Must be a Utah resident
- Have a qualifying income
- Qualifies for a plan on the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace
- Choose a silver plan
get enrollment help
If you still have questions, you can speak to a Community Health Center enrollment specialist for free help enrolling in a health plan through the marketplace and completing a HIPS application. They will help you find the best health insurance options for you and your family.
For free enrollment, go online today or visit.org/enrollment-assistance to learn more.