Utah: Low, No-Cost Health Care Options Available For Uninsured
The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is hosting a Family Enrollment Fair to encourage eligible, uninsured families to apply for coverage. The event is part of Cover the Uninsured Week, a national effort to get more Americans covered by health insurance.
Due to economic difficulties, many families are losing health care benefits due to job losses and employer budget cuts. But there are options available to help them provide health insurance for their families. The following state programs are now open for enrollment:
• CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program): Provides comprehensive health insurance for the uninsured children of families who qualify. For example, a family of four earning up to $44,100 a year may be eligible.
• PCN (Primary Care Network): Provides primary preventive health coverage for uninsured adults. PCN is open and accepting applications until April 30.
• UPP (Utah’s Premium Partnership for Health Insurance): Provides families with a monthly premium reimbursement when a previously uninsured individual or family enrolls in an employer health plan. Qualified families will receive up to $150 per person per month.
• Medicaid: Provides medical assistance to low-income families, children, pregnant women, and disabled and elderly individuals.
As the Yerkes family of Kaysville knows, emergency medical costs can easily break an uninsured family’s budget.
“We have struggled financially through job loss, health problems, a premature baby and other crises,” said Cynthia Yerkes. “Not having medical insurance only added to the stress.”
2008, Yerkes enrolled her two sons in CHIP. “It was a difficult and stressful time before CHIP,” she said. Like many Utah families facing financial troubles, Yerkes says hers is “a stable, middle class family who simply needed some help and have been very glad to receive it.”