Health Insurance Exchange open enrollment deadline less than a week away; 3 things Utahns need to know

The website is seen on a laptop computer, in the District of Columbia, May 18, 2017 | Associated Press file photo by Alex Brandon, St. George News

DENVER — Time is ticking for Utah residents to find a health care plan on the exchange; open enrollment ends Saturday. And officials are pleased to announce that the for the first time since the enrollment website launched, the number of plans are up and average premiums are down.

Whether consumers are new to the exchange or returning, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is making sure that Utahns who want coverage are aware of the upcoming deadline so they do not miss the opportunity to sign up for 2019 coverage.

“The focus for this year, as it was for last year, is to provide a seamless Open Enrollment experience for consumers,” CMS Regional Administrator Jeff Hinson said in a press release.

Since open enrollment began in early November, over 3 million people have selected plans using the platform. So far, over 75,000 Utahns have selected a plan in the exchange.

“We’ve made important improvements to customer service this year,” Hinson said. “We streamlined the application to simplify the process for consumers, improved content and help information to make it easier for people to understand and worked to deliver better customer service. The website has performed optimally, consumers have been able to easily access enrollment tools to compare plans and prices, and the call center consumer satisfaction rate has remained at 90 percent.”

Here are the three things Utah consumers who have yet to sign up for a plan need to know:

The deadline to sign up for coverage is Saturday, Dec. 15

Utah consumers have until Saturday to sign up for coverage. Anyone who does not enroll by the deadline can’t get 2019 coverage through the exchange unless they qualify for a special enrollment period. Consumers in Utah can visit and to preview 2019 plans and prices and sign up for coverage.

The average price for premiums has decreased and the number of plans has increased

For the first time since started offering coverage, average premium rates for a benchmark silver plan in 2019 have gone down across the 39 states that use the federal platform.

Consumers have more plans to choose from to find the best fit for themselves. There are 23 more issuers on the federal exchanges for 2019 than there were in 2018. And 29 issuers are expanding their service area into new counties.

Consumers who previously had coverage are encouraged to come back to to compare plans and prices, as they may be able to find a plan that saves them money and better meets their health needs.

Select the plan that best meets your needs

Whether you’ve previously had coverage through the exchange or it’s your first time signing up, Utahns are encouraged to check out the comprehensive coverage on offer, which include annual checkups at no extra cost and coverage of doctor visits, prescription drugs and certain preventive care with no out-of-pocket costs.

Utah consumers can get help filling out their application in three ways:

  • By phone. Consumers can call the Marketplace Call Center at 800-318-2596 (TTY: 855-889-4325). Available every day, except certain holidays.
  • In-person help. Consumers can use the Find Local Help tool on to see if they can get in-person help in their community.
  • Health insurance agents & brokers. Agents and brokers can help consumers enroll through the exchange or handle the whole process. Search for health insurance agents and brokers using the Find Local Help tool.

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Twitter: @STGnews 

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