New Web Site Will Help Utah Residents Compare, Buy Health Insurance

Utah employees of some small businesses will be able to compare and buy health insurance plans in an online exchange that goes live August 19.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports: "Shopping for your health insurance plan, Travelocity.com style, is about to become a reality. The Utah Health Exchange, a Web site where individuals and businesses can compare and buy health plans, is going live Aug. 19. A cornerstone of the state's health reform plans, the Utah Health Exchange marks the beginning of a defined contribution market, portable health coverage -- and giving Utahns more of a say in their health care. Only the second health insurance exchange to be developed in the country -- Massachusetts pioneered the first -- the Utah Health Exchange was created by HB 188. Signed into law by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. in March, it's one of four health reform bills designed to improve the affordability and accessibility of policies, and make the market more transparent."

The Salt Lake Tribune reports: "As part of HB 188, employers will have the option of depositing money into their workers' health savings accounts -- instead of just paying a portion of their premium -- allowing them to buy any plan they want. On its launch day, the Utah Health Exchange will begin enrolling up to 150 small employer groups -- those with between two and 50 workers -- who intend to offer their workers this option" (Rosetta, 8/10).

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