This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A whopping 52 percent more Utahns have signed up for health insurance via the federal marketplace in the first month of open enrollment than did last year.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release Wednesday that 37,816 Utahns had signed up between Nov. 1 and Nov. 28 for coverage next year. That compares to 24,870 who signed up in 2014's first month of open enrollment.
Open enrollment continues through Jan. 31, but those who want their insurance coverage to begin Jan. 1 must sign up and pay their first month's premium by Dec. 15. Those who sign up later won't have insurance until February.
People who don't get health coverage through their jobs can buy insurance through agents, brokers or via healthcare.gov, the federal marketplace. To qualify for subsidies, however, a person or family has to go through healthcare.gov, whether with or without the help of an agent or navigator.
Subsidies are available to people whose incomes fall between 100 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level. That's income of $11,770 to $47,080 for an individual or $20,090 to $80,360 for a family of three.
The higher number of Utahns signing up for insurance comes even as insurance rates are rising.
Health insurance plans for individuals and their families are costing an average of 22 percent more next year, according to rates approved by the Utah Department of Insurance.
That's before subsidies, however. The most common is tax credits, which will make it so 77 percent of Utahns buying policies via the exchange can find plans for $75 or less per month, HHS said in the news release.
The number of Utahns enrolling in plans via the exchange has been growing since the beginning of the Affordable Care Act. Some 84,504 signed up for 2014 coverage, and 140,612 for 2015 coverage.
Those who need help signing up for coverage can go to takecareutah.org or call 211.