Helping Utah's Uninsured Get UPP
As part of health system reform, the 2008 Legislature has made it easier for Utah’s uninsured to enroll in their work-sponsored health plan. As of today, uninsured individuals and families who qualify and sign up for Utah's Premium Partnership for Health Insurance (UPP) can enroll in their employer's health plan anytime during the year.
Previously, employees could enroll or make changes to their insurance only during open enrollment if they had a 'qualifying lifetime event' like marriage or the birth of a child. Now, qualifying for UPP is included as an eligible event, making it possible for individuals to enroll in work-sponsored coverage year-round.
“This is just one step our state is taking to help improve access to health insurance,” said UDOH Executive Director Dr. David Sundwall. “We are grateful that lawmakers saw the importance of UPP for Utah families and made this change to make work-sponsored health insurance more accessible,” he added.
Like many Utah families, Jennifer and Preston Thomas were relieved to be able to finally enroll their family of six in their employer’s insurance plan. “It has been a huge blessing to us. We got on our new insurance and shortly after, I found out that I have breast cancer,” said Jennifer. Having UPP “has relieved a lot of financial stress and I wanted to say thank you,” she added.
UPP helps working Utahns pay their monthly health insurance premiums. If an employee’s company offers health insurance, qualified individuals and families may receive up to $150 per person each month from UPP to help cover their portion of the premium.
Current UPP enrollment stands at 201 adults and 350 children and the program has funds to enroll many more families. To qualify for UPP, individuals must:
• Not currently have health insurance
• Be able to enroll in an employer’s health plan
• Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
• Meet specific household income guidelines