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.