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ACA premiums are up, but many Utah consumers are paying less

Politics

Salt Lake City, Utah- (News4Utah) – The latest numbers for the Affordable Care Act show premiums are on the rise this year, but the average out of pocket cost for Utahns who qualify for a subsidy is down.

This year consumers had half the time to sign up for health insurance under the ACA.

Advertising was also cut. Local advocates say it was an attempt by the Trump Administration to sabotage the system, but it backfired.

“With all the repeal and replace efforts, with all the confusion, with all of the funding cuts to outreach, and to community programs and all the talk of Obamacare being dead we thought we’d see a bigger decline in the numbers,” said Take Care Utah Director Randal Serr.

About 194,000 thousand Utahns enrolled for this year, down from about 197,000 from the year before.

“Meaning there’s a demand for affordable health insurance. Utahns need that and Americans need that,” said Serr.

Serr says 88% of Utahns who signed up qualify for a subsidy, which is up from last year.

He says the average premium for those consumers is $58 a month, down from $89 dollars a month last year.

While they are paying less, the federal government is paying more to cover the rising premiums.

That’s the problem for opponents of the controversial law.

Rick Larson, the President of the Sutherland Institute says that kind of spending is not sustainable.

“We believe there’s a need to get back to a free market structure, or we are simply going to run out of the money we need to take care of all the people we want to take care of,” said Larson.

Nationally, 11.8 million Americans enrolled for this year, down from 12.2 million last year.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 Utah team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 Utah News at 4 Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time.. Read More...

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