Utah Ranks 35th for Healthcare Affordability in Newly Release State Policy Scorecards
53% of Utahns report difficulty affording health care, with more and more people entering high deductible plans

Courtney Bullard

SALT LAKE— Altarum's Healthcare Value Hub just released customized data-sets to assess states' progress in health care affordability, with respect to both policies and outcomes. In their new Healthcare Affordability State Policy Scorecard, Utah ranks 35th , out of the 42 states included in this report, plus Washington DC. Utah's low ranking results from a combination of factors: continuous increases in high deductible plans purchased through employer sponsored insurance, failure of policymakers to combat low-value care, and failing to expand Medicaid for so long.
See Utah's full Scorecard here .
This new report is notable as this is the first time states have been rated based on work implementing policies that improve affordability, and the outcomes of those policies. Last year, Utah Health Policy Project released polling conducted by Altarum 's Healthcare Value Hub which showed health care affordability is a top financial concern among Utahns - 53% of adults report difficulty affording out of pocket health care costs. Additionally, Utahns broadly agree, across the political aisle, that this is a top issue they want their policymakers to work on.

There is a great deal our legislators can do to make health care more affordable. The recent Medicaid expansion will help thousands of Utahns afford health care, but the increases in deductibles, resistance to solve surprise medical bill, and lack of effort to reduce low-value care, are huge barriers to affordability.

There is a strong impact that policy can have in alleviating high health care costs, as evidenced in this report. While there is not a single policy path that will achieve better affordability for every state, the states that have implemented policies toward that end are seeing results. This is true for states that have had traditionally higher costs, like Massachusetts.

More on the methodology can be found here .
"It is disappointing to see Utah ranked so low for health care affordability, but it comes at little surprise, as most people in our state struggle with affording health care. There is a lot that can be done to help this issue, and we hope that health care affordability is top of mind for policymakers during the upcoming legislative session." said Courtney Bullard, Education and Collaborations Director at Utah Health Policy Project.
For more information contact:

Courtney Bullard, Education and Collaborations Director
Utah Health Policy Project

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