Nearly 50,000 Utahns insured in first month of open enrollment on federal health care exchange

ST. GEORGE — Nearly 50,000 Utahns signed up for health coverage during the first month of the three-month open enrollment period through the federal health care marketplace, and about half of those were signing up for the first time.

A report released by the Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday shows that 49,740 Utahns chose health care plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace before the December 15 deadline for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2015. The marketplace was created by the Affordable Care Act.

About 89 percent of Utah residents who selected health insurance plans in the first month of open enrollment were also eligible for financial assistance to lower their monthly premiums. This compares to 82 percent over a similar period in 2013.  Of the 49,740 Utah residents who selected a plan, 50 percent re-enrolled in a marketplace plan for 2015, and 50 percent signed up for the first time.

The report provides the first detailed analysis of enrollment in the marketplace for the first month of the 2015 open enrollment period. However, because the automatic re-enrollment process for the 37 states using the healthcare website platform — including Utah — began on Dec. 16 and was completed for most consumers on Dec. 18, Tuesday’s report with data through Dec. 15 doesn’t fully reflect the number of people who selected plans leading up to the deadline for Jan. 1, 2015 coverage.

“We’re pleased that in Utah 49,740 people signed up for marketplace coverage during the first month of open enrollment.  The vast majority were able to lower their costs even further by getting tax credits, making a difference in the bottom lines of so many families,” HHS Secretary, Sylvia M. Burwell, said.  “Interest in the marketplace has been strong during the first month of open enrollment. We still have a ways to go and a lot of work to do before February 15, but this is an encouraging start.”

Nationwide, more than 4 million people signed up for the first time or re-enrolled in coverage for 2015 during the first month of open enrollment.  That includes more than 3.4 million people who selected a plan in the 37 states that are using the healthcare website platform for 2015 and more than 600,000 consumers who selected plans in the 14 states that are operating their own marketplace platform for 2015.

HHS also released a Weekly Enrollment Snapshot that captures more recent enrollment activity in the marketplace.  The Weekly Snapshot shows that from Nov. 15-Dec. 26, nearly 6.5 million consumers selected a plan or were automatically re-enrolled.

Open enrollment in the marketplace runs from Nov. 15, 2014, through Feb. 15, 2015.  Consumers should visit to review and compare health plan options.  Consumers shopping for health insurance coverage should sign up by Jan. 15, 2015, to have coverage effective on Feb. 1, 2015.  If consumers who were automatically re-enrolled find a plan that better suits their families, they can make that change at any time before the end of open enrollment on Feb. 15.

Consumers can find local help on the website, or call the Federally-facilitated Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855- 889-4325. Translation services are available and the call is free.

The information contained in Tuesday’s report offers the most systematic summary of enrollment in the marketplace to date.


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  • Bender December 30, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    But death panels!

    • Koolaid December 30, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      That’s under Herbertcare

      • Dana December 31, 2014 at 4:31 am

        Not if you’re worthy. And, agree to be a celestial wife.

        • koolaid December 31, 2014 at 1:35 pm

          Are you destined to be a celestial wife?

      • Vet December 31, 2014 at 1:45 pm

        Coolaid: here is a simple test for a low information voter:
        Who is Nancy Pelosi ?
        Who is Johnathen Gruber?
        Is Herbert a republican are gop.?
        What did they contribute to the ACA?
        Answer below please.

        • Bender December 31, 2014 at 2:50 pm

          Trick questions KOOLAID. VET won’t accept your answers unless you are parroting what he heard Rush say on AM radio.

          • Vet December 31, 2014 at 3:52 pm

            Here is as simple question for you bender.
            Where can I go to see the video off Nancy Pelosi and Gruber say in there own words the things I told you they said without going to rush are Fox News ?
            Than answer why.
            Is it because “at this point what difference does it make”.
            “Americas are stupid”

            I think the trick is on you. bender

          • Chris December 31, 2014 at 4:11 pm

            “Americas are stupid” If your writing and command of the English language is any indicator, then yes, Americans are stupid.

          • Vet December 31, 2014 at 4:40 pm

            Chris, if you think good English is a sign of smart than that why you like ACA . It’s such a finely written document. You where so busy checking the spelling, you missed the comprehension.

            Another meat head, when they can’t defend themself they bash your spelling.

        • Koolaid December 31, 2014 at 6:19 pm

          A: Your momma? B: Your daddy? C: Are, of course D: Less than 10%

  • Burton December 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Incredibly unbelievable, how Long do rational people really think this will last!? 89 percent received subsidies? Tax breaks from an already bankrupt country? Maybe, just maybe the country might be bankrupt because it didn’t make people pay their own way in the first place! And I don’t wanna hear your oh poor me crap, if you aren’t disabled get a job! Or two jobs like me and my wife both have!

    • Joe Smith December 30, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      It’s funny how the right-wing AM radio crowd doesn’t mind the subsidies and bailouts to the bank executives, wallstreet, oil companies etc, but by God we wouldn’t want the common folk to be able to afford a health plan. That would be treacherous …

      • koolaid December 31, 2014 at 10:06 pm

        No kidding! How much could that trillion dollars bailout that Bush gave to bankers and CEOs for their bonuses have done toward affordable health care?

    • Koolaid's little brother December 30, 2014 at 6:03 pm


    • Bender December 30, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      It will, just like the military, last as long as congress taxes for, and funds it. Some of us feel that a cancer diagnosis or chronic disease should not doom a hard working family to financial ruin. That seems to be a minority opinion, though, in this Christian town.

      • Big Guy December 31, 2014 at 5:50 am

        Providing catastrophic medical coverage is one thing and might have garnered a lot of political support. Unnecessarily commandeering the entire health care system with lies and deception is something else completely: totally unwarranted and, to the disappointment and frustration of left-liberals, highly unpopular.

        • Joe Smith December 31, 2014 at 10:58 am

          “I HATE BIG GUBMUNT!” says BIG GUY as he cashes his social security check…

          • Vet December 31, 2014 at 6:24 pm

            Ya, joe smith, it’s a new concept, ya had to buy the insurance befor ya needed it.

        • Bender January 2, 2015 at 5:13 pm

          “commandeering the entire health care system”
          You’ve got some severe confusion about ACA rattling around in that noggin of yours BIG GUY. In a way, that’s good news. The empty space up there could be filled with actual facts, should you care to avail yourself of sources of news other than AM hate radio and FOX news on TV.

      • Vet December 31, 2014 at 1:15 pm

        Everyone should have catastrophic insurance.
        We are not necessarily talking about that , so wise up

        • Bender December 31, 2014 at 2:43 pm

          What are we talking about VET? Before ACA even catastrophic insurance was affordable/unavailable for those with pre-existing illness… cancer, type I diabetes. Even with catastrophic insurance, lifetime caps on payout could easily catch you. ACA may not be perfect but it’s a far cry from what the GOP has presented — nothing besides hysterical screaming about the evils of ACA. I’m wondering if your opposition to government involvement in healthcare extends to the VA medical system?

    • Evil twins mommy December 30, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      I don’t need to work 2 jobs to make a living, but thanks for your advice anyway, btw it should be my wife and I not me and my wife. HAPPY NEW YEAR

      • Burton December 31, 2014 at 6:44 pm

        Oh goody, the grammar police are back! How is this genius, we both work two jobs so we can build wealth and save for our own retirement so your grandkids won’t have to pay for our well being when I am no longer able to work at all. So not necessarily to you but perhaps your grandchildren, YOUR WELCOME! realistically how well are you set up for retirement or a rainy day? Or are you just depending on the liberal government to take care of your needs?

  • ladybugavenger December 30, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    My insurance rates went up, and a higher deductible, precriptions went up. My husbands co pay went up…..prescription cost went up….how did obamacare help me? Uhhhhhhh it didnt. My annual 40 cent raise doesn’t absorb the cost of my rent going up $105 dollars a month in 3 years and medical cost $2,500 deductible, then 80%….luckily IHC has a payment plan and as long as I don’t get sick and can stay away from doctors I’ll have it paid off in 3 years….cross my fingers

    • ladybugavenger December 30, 2014 at 5:56 pm


      • koolaid December 31, 2014 at 5:59 am

        Look at the bright side. You still have your guns.

        • ladybugavenger December 31, 2014 at 9:11 am

          I dont own guns, but here’s another bright side…at least the illegal immigrants can get government assistance, food stamps, medical, and enjoy the freedoms of America. My just above minimum wage job disqualifies me but good for them.

          • Burton December 31, 2014 at 6:50 pm

            Your absolutely right. The less your ambition the more the federal freebies! Why do you think all the people in this forum are such lovers of Obama care.

          • koolaid December 31, 2014 at 10:09 pm

            It’s surprising the number of Utahans who have no health coverage for their families. Yet they’re able to cough up that 10% on demand.

    • Vet December 31, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Sorry, I mis understand you in a previous artical. I think we are on the same page.
      Your 40 cent increase in pay will never adjust for inflation because obamacare will not pay hospitals as much as private insurance will. This will drive private insurance out of business, and than we will all be on a one payer system.
      The reason your insurance went up is so you can pay for those that don’t want to work.
      The reason your rent went up is so you can pay your land lords insurance.
      Eventually it might be cheaper to quit your job and go on government subsidies.
      Welcome to socialism .

      • Joe Smith December 31, 2014 at 11:06 am

        “I HATE SOCIALISM” says VET as he takes advantage of his fully tax payer funded VA medical benefits..

        • Vet December 31, 2014 at 12:16 pm

          I’m old but I have a small business, that I am active in. I buy a large amount of materials to run my business. (=Taxes and employ my suppliers ) I have 2 employees with family’s .
          I showed one employee how to run the business and he is a competitor of mine now. I’m proud of him.
          I’ve never used the VA benefits
          I collect Social security that I pain in to
          Welcome to capitalism

          • Joe Smith December 31, 2014 at 2:45 pm

            Keep that right-wing hate radio on full blast old timer. I don’t think ur gonna see reason any time soon… fyi, social security is one of those big gubmunt programs you hate…

        • Burton December 31, 2014 at 6:54 pm

          You are truly an idiot Joe if you think for one minute that ANY American that protected your uninformed … didn’t EARN their health benefits! If you don’t think it’s fair or it’s an “entitlement” then I suggest you pick up a gun, go overseas, leave your family behind and protect your own sorry …!!!!!!!!!!!
          Ed. ellipses.

          • Joe Smith December 31, 2014 at 7:32 pm

            Like it or not the VA medical system is 100% socialized medicine. That’s a fact…

          • Joe Smith December 31, 2014 at 7:43 pm

            and if you think that Bush’s wars made us any safer your an idiot. Bush II left so much of a mess over there he basically created a terrorist state out of syria and iraq. That was GOP policy at its best. The soldiers who sacrificed, I respect. The policymakers though are as good as garbage. Use your brain bro, it will pay off…

      • ladybugavenger December 31, 2014 at 9:00 pm

        What I haven’t figured out is how do people on food stamps and government assistance afford nice cars, jewelry, hair, nails, shoes, homes. When I figure that one out, I may have to quit my job..

    • Joe Smith December 31, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Well Obama is a wall-street president for the most part. All the hope and change talk was cute but didn’t really accomplish much. But if you think old Obama was bad just wait til the GOP takes things over again. It’ll be like a 3yr old in a china shop just like Bush II, and I know all these AM radio fans miss Bush II 🙂

      • NewGuy December 31, 2014 at 12:48 pm

        Joe Smith, correct me if I’am wrong, but I’ve come to the conclusion that your either drunk all the time (or) perhaps one who has drunk one to many jugs of that special kool aid they serve on MSNBC. Chill out Joe.
        Just kidding Joe— Have a Happy New Year!

      • Koolaid December 31, 2014 at 6:22 pm

        Wasn’t Romney thought of as Bush III? Yep! Look at the damage Bush I and II did to 99% of the population.

  • Meh December 31, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Yeah I get a kick out of these people that comes through the door at our clinic praising our fearless leader because they have insurance only to find out even though they are paying $1200 a month for there family (believe it or not) there insurance will not cover treatment for the diagnosis. They don’t usually leave to happy.

    • Vet December 31, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Good advice, read your policy befor you buy it .
      Bad advice from Nancy Pelosi ” we have to buy it so we know what’s in it”. (I’m glad she don’t shop with my money)
      American fell for this once
      Johnathon Gruber maybe you right.

  • Melda December 31, 2014 at 5:00 am

    Here is the propblem people…besides being forced to purchase it. The annual premium for the basic bronze plan for a family of 4 making about $40,000 is estimated at $12,000!!! Yes, it would be heavily subsidized but would still cost $300 out of pocket monthly. Plus the HIGH deductible of about $4,000 annually according to the website??? This is NOT affordable as the American sheep were lead to believe. I believe I should get to CHOOSE TO PURCHASE OR NOT PURCHASE a health plan for the coverage I need not the coverage the govt FORCES me to purchase.

    • koolaid December 31, 2014 at 6:00 am

      What plan has your senator Hatch proposed in 6 terms, for you, not himself?

    • Koolaid December 31, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      How about Lee, Chaffetz, Bishop, Stewart? What have they done other than just say no to Obama? Did I just hear you whisper “Nothing”?

  • An actual Independent December 31, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Getting everybody covered was and still is an admirable goal. However, a few of us tried to point out that the entire discussion leading up to “Affordable Care” was dishonest. There was NEVER any honest discussion about reducing the cost of healthcare…just tripe about taking on the huge bills by PRETENDING somebody else was going to pay for it.
    Good ol’ arch conservative, we hate big government Utahans joined right in, as we positioned ourselves and schemed to receive as much of that hated government assistance as anybody.

    • Joe Smith December 31, 2014 at 10:55 am

      As soon as they killed the idea of a public option I knew the whole obamacare thing would probably be a flop. The trillion dollar medical industry got scared to death and knew they had to lobby to have that killed. The whole medical system is pretty well broken and the obamacare just threw money at a broken system and the result was good for a few folks but really didn’t fix anything. You’ve got the GOP that would rather throw trillions upon trillions into failed anti-muslim wars, so don’t expect them to try and fix anything. Will be “interesting” to say the least…

    • Vet December 31, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      So “actual independent ” what would you suggest that we do . Refuse ACA and get fined and eventual tax garnishment .
      That’s the whole point
      Bone head independent

  • Vet December 31, 2014 at 10:29 am

    There is a price for everything, when big government gives you something it takes something . …freedom , innovation, self esteem, personal charity.
    I Pray for use all, this is the beginning.

  • Billy Madison December 31, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I signed for the very bottom, lowest, coverage possible which doesn’t pay squat for anything. I did it to avoid the $300 penalty for not signing up. I will still have to pay the $95 penalty for last year, but I can avoid it next year. So, yea, I am covered with a policy that pays Jack Crap but shields me from further abuse. Baa Baa Baa Baa

  • Joe Smith December 31, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    socialists, communists, libruls, muslims president without a birth certificate, death panels, Obamas gunna take the guns, etc etc. Do these guys even realize what idiots they are hahahahah 😀

    • Vet December 31, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      This is what I can say about bleeding heart liberals, and I have the facts that prove it. All polls showed that 75 % of Millennials approved of Obama and his HC plan 2 yrs ago now that they got their health insurance bill the polls show that only 40% approve.
      As you can see liberals like government subsidies as long as it don’t come out of their own pockets.

      • Joe Smith December 31, 2014 at 7:31 pm

        And right-wingers like gov’t subsidies so long as they go to folks that are already filthy rich, so is there a happy middle ground somewhere?

      • Simone December 31, 2014 at 9:02 pm

        What polls are those? Who wrote them? Were they funded by a repuitable source or are they the brain child of single man or woman? How were the questions worded? How did they conduct the study? Who did they poll? Did they poll random people on the street, make phone calls or focus the questions towards biased websites like conservapedia and msnbc? Seriously, I would like to see those polls you mention.

    • Burton December 31, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Nope Joe! You and Rachel maddow, Bob costas, Chris Mathews got it all figured out! Why don’t you turn off msnbc and quit regurgitating thier liberal garbage!? You want to keep talking about right wing radio, how are you ANY different just regurgitating msnbc’s crap? 🙂

  • Simone December 31, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    To all the government haters out there,

    I have one simple suggestion for you. Why don’t you simply stop using everything the government helps provide? You know those Social Security checks you get? Send them back, Social Security is a government program started in 1935. Do you use Medicare or Medicaid? stop that too, those are both government programs. Does your car use Gasoline? Better stop driving then because a portion of every gallon you buy goes to the government. If you do drive, do you drive on paved streets and highways? If so, you better get yourself a good pair of walking shoes and not plan on using sidewalks because the government at all levels helps maintain our infrastructure. That really stinks, huh. Hey, you know what? You need to stop obeying all laws too because the people who write our laws receive their paycheck from the government.

    I digress.

    I have a simple solution to your problem. Make your own clothes, drive your car/truck off road, make your own Gas, grow your own food and walk in the dirt. Just make sure that you don’t do any of those things on any property that is owned or maintained on any level by any government or entity that receives any sort of help or break in any form by any government on any level anywhere. Why? Because God knows that you wouldn’t want anyone to think that you’re a Liberal.

    Thank you,
    Simone ♥

    • Burton January 1, 2015 at 9:09 am

      You are just as ignorant as Joe. Social security is NOT an entitlement. Why don’t you look at your pay check stub where it says FICA. That’s the money they are taking from you for “social security” later. That is if you ever have earned a check from anywhere. Oh and the reason your big wonderful government takes it from without your consent is because they deemed you to stupid to save it your self. Problem is the same government that you got your head up thier bottom end is they spent all the “saved” Money on other crap!

      • Simone January 2, 2015 at 12:00 am

        Ok Burton since you brought up the term entitlement, lets talk about it. There are many different kinds of taxes and politicians of all parties seem to like to rally around the promise that they will reduce taxes as part of the many “promises” they make to the American public in an election year. In truth Burton you are taxed on nearly everything. There are taxes on food, income, property, clothing, electronics, general merchandise, Arts and Entertainment, just to name a few off the top of my head. You say that you are an educated man and informed voter so im going to assume that you knew all about the RAP tax that was recently passed by voters right here in Southern Utah. On the off chance that you missed that little piece of legislation; an article about it can be found here
        You see, Burton, taxes help pay for most things that we enjoy. Things like roads. As well as things that we need to become productive adults like schools. Yes the government in involved in funding education. Don’t believe me? look here. Then again,The United States Department of Education is a government run website so obviously its liberally biased. If you want, you can also Google it.

        Now before you say it, i know that it didn’t mention that the program is directly funded through taxes but think about it, if you can. Do you really think the Government would be able to fund these programs if they didn’t REQUIRE at least some of the taxes they do? Would you honestly pay them even if they didn’t?

        Again, I digress.

        You make the argument that Social Security is not an entitlement because you pay into it and you are right. Unfortunately people in your party fail to realize that taxes help pay for A LOT of stuff that we enjoy. Yes there are people who abuse the system but I am willing to argue that those people are in the vast minority and that the majority of people who use the system are good, decent, hard working people who have fallen on hard times and need a little help to get themselves out of a temporary situation. On a final note, How you arrived at the assumption that I think Social Security is an entitlement, I’ll never know. For your own sake, I would suggest that you stop trying to “read between the lines”. 🙂

        • the tax man January 2, 2015 at 10:13 am

          SIMONE, just speaking of Social Security. True, you do pay into it IF you work. So when you retire and draw you Social Security, it is your money that you paid into it. Look at it this way…..say you work and you have an saving account for your retirement. Say you put away $100.00 per month for $1200.00 per year in your savings. So after 5 years of saving for your retirement, you have $6,000.00 and all of a sudden the bank tells you that you cannot draw out your savings of $6,000.00 because the government said it was illegal for the bank to let you have it. Would you be happy about that? Would you just let the bank keep your 6 thousand dollars that YOU saved for YOUR retirement? Would you NOT think that you were “entitled” to your money? Don’t throw in all the other taxes that EVERYONE pays for the things you mentioned above. Just address the Social Security issue you say is a government funded program….if you can.

          • Simone January 2, 2015 at 6:10 pm

            Tax Man, Thank you for the intelligent response. For clarification I said that Social Security was a government program, not a government FUNDED program. Social Security is, in my opinion, a “working citizen”(for lack of a better term) program. In my opinion, a “entitlement” program is one in which every legal US Resident and citizen working or not has the option of using it for a certain amount of time. The Welfare to Work program is one such program. Social Security is not, in my opinion, one of those programs. Not everyone is entitled to collect Social Security. My dad worked all his life yet I do not think he is entitled to Social Security Benefits because he did not pay into it. He just started collecting Social Security but it is a very small amount because He only contributed to it as a young man before his real career began. My mother on the other hand will get a much more substantial amount because she paid much more into it. My original comment was directed towards the government haters like Burton who don’t seem to realize just what some of those other taxes pay for. Im also trying to understand why some people trash government programs like Medicaid then whine when they don’t get enough of it. Why take advantage of a program you don’t like or support?

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