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Gov. Herbert Outlines Health Care Plan

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Utah Department of Health
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Gov. Herbert outlined his plan for Healthy Utah on Thursday.

Thursday, after months of anticipation, Gov. Gary Herbert unveiled the details of the Healthy Utah plan, his alternative to expanding Medicaid in the state. The plan, which would have to be approved by the state legislature, would help 95,000 Utahns who make $15,521 a year or less; 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

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Herbert worked with officials from the federal government to come up with the privatized plan, one of five plans state lawmakers will consider adopting. Health Department Chief Executive David Patton said that unlike any other states, Herbert won concessions from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Those include co-pays for low-income residents seeking medical services and increasing the co-pay for non-emergency visits to the ER from $8 to $50.

The plan outlines different cost-sharing obligations that are dependent on income. Those who qualify for Healthy Utah and make between 101 and 133 percent of the federal poverty level would pay approximately two percent of their incomes toward premiums and pay a coinsurance of 10 percent on most services.

Herbert’s plan would cost Utah $4.6 million dollars in 2016 and $25.5 million in 2019.