Utah Insurance Web Site Not Helping

December 24, 2009

A health insurance Web site intended to foster competition and reduce consumer costs by offering more choices on buying insurance plans isn’t working as lawmakers had hoped.

The Utah Health Exchange was launched in August but in many cases, premiums were higher than what employers were already paying. And there were more than 60 plans to choose from.

Insurers can sell plans through the exchange or on the open market, something that resulted in premium disparities of up to 130 percent.

Utah House Speaker David Clark has drafted a bill that would make it so insurers could only offer their small-group health benefit plans through the exchange. And it would keep them from taking employees’ pre-existing health conditions into account when calculating premiums.

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