If you’re looking for cheap healthcare, look no further than Utah.
The American Communities Project crunched the numbers last month and discovered that counties they classify as "LDS enclaves" have the cheapest Affordable Care Act plans. The study looked at "silver plans" for 21-year-olds, finding that the average lowest premium was $174. Regions classified as LDS enclaves include all of Utah as well as significant portions of neighboring states.
By contrast, the counties with the highest costs were those classified as "Native American lands" and the "African American south." The study also notes that the premium costs are not tied to income:
"Instead the differences above are a side effect of having the new healthcare law built on top of the old private insurance system that was already in place. The differences aren’t due to random chance. Providers knew the communities they served, knew their competition and priced plans accordingly."
The result is that urban areas — where incomes are also higher — tend to have lower premium costs, while rural communities tend to pay more.
So why does Utah get the cheapest insurance?
According to the authors, it’s due to "clean living." The LDS enclaves have lower rates of smoking and drinking, driving down healthcare costs. In other areas, such as counties classified as "big cities," competition tends to drive down costs.
— Jim Dalrymple II
|1.||In Utah, Mormon chapels are here, there and everywhere|
|2.||Lindsey, Burke address internet photo issue|
|3.||Utah school district settles with family of boy who killed himself|
|4.||Utah Jazz: Trey Burke apologizes for leaked nude photographs|
|5.||LDS meeting: Feminists seeking change find it in subtle wording|
|6.||Violent assault ruled out in death of Utah family, but not foul play|
|7.||When it comes to Cougar sports, BYU’s president sure is game|
|8.||Utah football: ‘Somber’ Utes get early start prepping for UCLA|
|9.||They did, then they did again. Clooney and wife do No. 2 ‘I do’|
|10.||DA says Dillon Taylor officer-involved killing was justified|