Will New Utah Bill Lower Health Insurance Company Competition?

A vetoed Utah State bill that would grant health insurance companies more flexibility in pricing their health insurance plans for small businesses has been revived. The Utah bill would allow insurance companies to extend discounts to young workers and single parents with one child, while hiking premiums for older workers and larger families.

The revived health insurance bill was unanimously endorsed last week by the Business and Labor Interim Committee.  The bill is on tap to be discussed in a special Utah legislative session on June 15.

UnitedHealthcare, which has threatened to pull out of Utah’s small-group market if the Utah bill passes. A United representative said at an Utah Insurance Department board meeting the programming costs of adding a special pricing category for single, one-child parents may leave the company with no choice but to leave the small group market in Utah.

United and other big national carriers have fought to grab a bigger share of the Utah market, where Selecthealth and Regence BlueCross BlueShield claim 60 percent of all privately insured residents.  Aetna finally gave up and is no longer selling policies to small businesses in Utah.

Utah Legislation approved last year restricted premium health insurance rates for some older workers but had the effect of raising premiums for their twenty-something colleagues.

Will New Utah Bill Lower Health Insurance Company Competition?

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