Health care costs continue to rise at an alarming rate. The average family spends over $10,000 per year on medical bills. If you don’t have health insurance, you’ll likely pay out of pocket.
You might be able to get some relief from Utah’s new law requiring everyone to carry health insurance or face fines. But there are still a lot of questions about how it will work.
The new law requires that all residents purchase health insurance by 2014. It also allows people to buy insurance through the federal exchange and gives them subsidies if they qualify for Medicaid.
But many people who can afford private insurance won’t buy it because it is expensive. And those who do sign up may not qualify for subsidies.
So what happens to these people? They could end up paying more than 8 percent sales tax on their premiums. That’s the penalty for being uninsured.
“If your income is high enough, then you’re going to qualify for a subsidy,” said Kim Jensen with the state Health Division. “And so the subsidy should help offset any increase in taxes.”
Jensen says the federal government has set aside money to subsidize low-income families, but she doesn’t know yet how much. She says the state will offer the same subsidies as Washington State.
Utah residents who want to find out if they qualify for subsidies can go to the state website, utah.gov/healthinsurance. There they can enter their information and see if they qualify for a subsidy.
They’ll need to provide proof of income and other documents. Then they’ll receive a letter telling them whether they qualify. Alternatively, you can secure the services of professionals like Healthbridge Insurance Solutions to get careful and well-meaning guidance. We can help you secure the right kind of coverage, with an eye towards cost-efficiency without sacrificing the comforts and coverage you expect from healthcare insurance.