HB 441 Includes a Harmful 1% Excise Tax on Healthcare Premiums
M arch 6, 2019

Matt Slonaker

SALT LAKE— HB 441, if passed, will restructure the economy in many ways that UHPP does not either oppose or support. However, included in this substantial tax bill, is a 1% premium tax increase that UHPP believes works as another disincentive for consumers to enroll in health insurance. Furthermore, it disrupts efforts currently happening to move towards a fairer and more efficient healthcare system.

Utahns are have face rising premiums for many years. UHPP is concerned insurance companies will be motivated to pass any additional costs along to consumers. Utah health care consumers have already faced ongoing changes to their health care including ongoing premium increases, a growth in the prevelance of high deductible plans, no protections against balanced billing, exorbitant prescription drug price increases, and a loss of cost sharing reductions on ACA plans. A 1% tax on premiums will add to that list of burdens.

UHPP, in coordination with The Healthcare Value Hub at Altarum, recently published four issue briefs with remarkable findings on affordability challenges facing Utahns. For the full issue briefs, click here .

Some main findings were:

·        More than half (60%) experienced healthcare affordability burdens in the past year;
·        Even more (85%) are worried about affording healthcare in the future; and
·        Across party lines, they express strong support for policymakers to address these problems.  

Courtney Bullard, education and collaborations director said “UHPP will always speak for the consumer and feels it is necessary to point out the flaw in implementing a burdensome tax that will be passed on to consumers in such an already unstable part of the market.”

Matt Slonaker, executive director, said “UHPP has been fighting for years to reduce costs and fortunately , last year in Utah we saw for the first time that premiums on the ACA decreased. We need to build off of that momentum can’t afford to give into anymore cost increases; Utahns simply cannot afford it.” 
For more information contact:

Matt Slonaker
Executive Director, UHPP

Courtney Bullard
Education and Collaborations Director, UHPP