Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Number of uninsured Utahns remained flat in 2012
Health insurance » The Affordable Care Act, which goes live Tuesday, promises to drastically reduce the uninsured rate.
First Published Sep 30 2013 12:39 pm • Last Updated Sep 30 2013 03:51 pm

Utah’s uninsured rate remains virtually unchanged from last year, according to a report by the Utah Department of Health.

An estimated 376,600 Utahns, or 13.2 percent of the population, went without health coverage in 2012, compared to 377,700 in 2011.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The state’s estimate, culled from a telephone survey, is lower than estimates provided by the U.S. Census. New Census data indicate 417,274 Utahns had no health insurance last year.

"But the story is the same," said Lincoln Nehring, a health policy analyst at Voices for Utah Children. "We have way too many uninsured children and adults in the state and we have not been able to reduce that number under the status quo."

The Affordable Care Act, which promises to drastically reduce the uninsured rate, goes live on Tuesday with the launch of online insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, in each state.

Whether it succeeds could hinge on the affordability of plans offered. Utahns got their first peek at prices on Monday with the release of rates by the state Insurance Department.

A good chunk of Utah’s uninsured, however, would qualify for Medicaid if the state were among those choosing to expand the safety net. Gov. Gary Herbert is still weighing the costs and benefits and hopes to make a decision in the coming months.

State health department chief David Patton hopes the uninsured data helps the state "better target [its] efforts as we all work toward a common goal of reducing the number of Utahns who go without health insurance."

Patton also encouraged families with uninsured children to look into Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to see if they qualify.

Highlights from the new data:

story continues below
story continues below

• 48,200 of Utah’s uninsured are children from low-income families who qualify for Medicaid or CHIP.

• 185,900 of the state’s uninsured live at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level and would qualify for Medicaid under an expansion of the safety net program.

• There was a slight drop in the number of uninsured young adults between ages 19 and 26.

• Among self-employed Utahns, 26.1 percent reported being uninsured in 2012.

To read the full report, go to: http://1.usa.gov/16DiXzl.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.