Utah state starts with small business when creating a health exchange

Utah small businesses buy health insurance for their employees less often than small businesses in other states. Only about a third of those working at a smaller company were provided with health insurance. Employees with access to health insurance don’t have much of a choice in plans. One health insurance plan to fit all employees is the norm in a lot of Utah small businesses that offer health insurance.

The Small Business Administration says 97 percent of the work force in Utah works for companies that meet the federal small-business definition of fewer than 500 employees. More than half in Utah work for those with fewer than 50 employees.

Utah state started with small business when creating a health exchange due to analysis by the Utah Department of Health, who said that’s where, in large numbers, those without health insurance are working.

100 small-business employers now use the Utah Health Exchange to allow their employees to access health insurance benefits, and Utah state experts say they’re hoping to have 10 times that many companies using it by the end of the year via this article.

providing coverage to 1,035 employees and their dependents, a total of 2,985 people covered, according to Patty Conner, director of the Utah Office of Consumer Health Services, which manages the exchange within the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

The health insurance itself is provided by four of the five largest health insurance companies that do business in the state — Humana, Regence, SelectHeath and UnitedHealthcare. Among them, they’ve come up with 146 different health insurance plan designs, which can all be compared and obtained online. There are tools to help sort and filter. You can look by cost, for example, by deductible, by what’s covered, even by doctor or hospital.

The Utah health insurance exchange is open to small businesses that have two to 50 employees. It’s not for single proprietors or mom-and-pop operations.

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