Individual responsibility is key to the Healthy Utah plan
October 27, 2014
Individual responsibility is a key component of Gov. Herbert’s Healthy Utah plan. In his negotiations with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), the governor secured the state’s ability to charge premiums and copays, as well as connect applicants with job training and job enhancement services.
“We want to amplify the individual responsibility with a work effort,” said the governor. “When you receive health care under the Healthy Utah plan, we’ll also give you the opportunity to get better training and skills to get a job or a better job.”
Co-pay amounts will vary depending on the service, but will generally be lower for those living under the poverty level. Some co-pays will total up to 10 percent of the cost of the service. Adults living above the federal poverty line would pay up to $15 per month premium for their coverage, while approximately 60,000 Utah adults living below the federal poverty line would not pay premiums.
Emergency room visits for non-emergency services would also cost more. This is designed to encourage those enrolled in Healthy Utah to make regular doctor office visits for their normal health care needs instead of visiting the emergency room, where costs are significantly higher. Under Medicaid, adults are charged $8 for non-emergency ER visits, but under Healthy Utah those types of visits to the emergency room will now cost $50.
Medicaid was never designed to be a permanent source of health coverage; it’s purpose is to help people during tough times. While those able-bodied adults enrolled in Healthy Utah will not need to have a job to access health care, they will be enrolled in programs designed to help them improve their financial situations and, ultimately, help them transition to not needing taxpayer assistance.