Updated: 2021-10-12 by
Utah open enrollment for 2022 plans runs from November 1, 2021 until January 15, 2022.
This website provides information about getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including new benefits available under The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and other essentials such as:
- whether you must get health insurance
- what the available plans cover
- how much coverage will cost
- how to sign up for a plan
- how to get help if you need it.
To begin, keep in mind these key points about health insurance in Utah:
1. Open enrollment for 2022 health insurance plans runs from Monday, November 1, 2021 to Friday, January 15, 2022.
In Utah, you can sign up for 2022 health coverage from November 1, 2021 to January 15, 2022. This open enrollment period is one month longer than in recent years, allowing people more time to sign up. If you enroll by December 15, your coverage will begin on January 1, 2022.
If you are currently uninsured, you can use Healthcare.gov to compare plans and enroll in a plan that meets your needs.
If you already have health insurance, you will be automatically re-enrolled in your existing plan if it is still available. Even if your plan will continue, open enrollment is an excellent time to review your coverage, compare plans, and switch to a new one if you find a better option.
To learn more about enrollment, see How To Sign Up for Obamacare in Utah.
2. You may still qualify for 2021 coverage and financial assistance under some circumstances.
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The law provides $1.9 trillion of federal aid to Americans struggling with the COVID-19 crisis. The relief measures include additional premium subsidies for those who purchase health insurance through Healthcare.gov. Here's a quick summary of the types of available subsidies.
Federal tax credits. Under ARPA, no one will have to pay more than 8.5% of their household income for a mid-level plan purchased from Healthcare.gov. Technically, the subsidies are tax credits, but you can choose to have them automatically deducted from the cost of your monthly premiums. These increased subsidies will be available only through the end of 2022 unless Congress enacts legislation to extend them. (If they revert to the previous level, subsidies will be available only to those with household income between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. For example, the cutoff for a family of four in Utah would be $104,800. For an individual, it would be $51,040.)
Cost-sharing subsidies. More than half of the people who purchase coverage through Healthcare.gov receive assistance in the form of cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). CSRs automatically reduce your premiums and lower your costs when you use your insurance benefits—for example, when you go to the doctor, get lab work, or have to stay in the hospital.
CSRs are available to people who make between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level. (For 2022 health plans, that means a family of four in Utah can't earn more than $65,500 and an individual not more than $25,520.) But these benefits are available only on silver plans. If you think you may qualify, look carefully at costs for the silver plans available at Healthcare.gov while shopping for coverage.
Medicaid. You may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid in Utah if your income is very low.
For more information, see Ways to Save Money on Obamacare in Utah.
4. You won't face a tax penalty for going without health insurance in 2022—but there are significant downsides to being uninsured.
Obamacare's tax penalty went away in 2019. That means that if you don't have health insurance, you won't have to pay a penalty when you file your federal income taxes. That said, think hard about whether it makes sense to forego health insurance. A medical crisis could knock the financial wind from your sails and do more damage than the penalty would. (A study published in 2019 showed that a lapse in health insurance coverage can double a person's chances of ending up in bankruptcy.)
5. Try to avoid short-term insurance plans that don't comply with the ACA.
In 2018, the Trump administration made it easier to purchase "short-term insurance plans." Short-term plans don't have to cover preexisting conditions or the essential health benefits provided by Obamacare plans. In the past, short-term plans were allowed to last only three months but under new rules, you can purchase a non-ACA compliant "short term" plan that lasts as long as three years.
If you're genuinely caught without health insurance and need it for a few months to cover a new health condition, you might want to consider a true short-term plan to get you through to the next open enrollment period. Otherwise, be careful of plans that don't meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act and shop around to look for coverage that genuinely meets your needs.
Remember, if your income is very low, you may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid in Utah.
6. You can get help signing up if you need it.
To find free, in-person enrollment assistance in your community or neighborhood, we recommend you begin with Take Care Utah. This nonprofit organization strives to help Utah residents understand their options for affordable health care coverage. Take Care Utah can connect you with a local enrollment specialist who will answer your questions and help you apply for a plan.
To reach Take Care Utah, go to www.takecareutah.org or call 2-1-1 (inside Utah). From there, you can type or say your zip code to find the nearest enrollment assistants.
For other resources available to you, see Get Help Finding a Health Insurance Plan in Utah.
You may also be interested in:
Where to go in Utah to get health plans under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and how to get help with the application process.
Learn whether you must have health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in Utah.
Learn the five factors that determine what residents of Utah will pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act