Number of Uninsured Utah Kids and Parents Would More than Double if ACA Repealed

The number of uninsured Utah children would more than double if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act without a comprehensive replacement plan, according to new data released by the Urban Institute.

The new data offer more detail than we’ve ever seen before about how repeal without a replacement will affect Utah children and families. As Congress and the new administration begin the process of repealing the ACA, they have yet to negotiate an agreement on a replacement and may delay doing so indefinitely. 

Repealing the ACA without a replacement in place will leave even more Utah children uninsured than before the ACA came into being.  While most attention has been directed toward the fact that ACA repeal could end the ACA health insurance marketplace—in itself devastating for Utah families because Utah has one of the highest marketplace enrollment rates in the nation—the ACA repeal will also affect CHIP and Medicaid, tearing away at key features of Utah’s safety net that existed long before the ACA.

All Utah families stand to lose a number of health insurance protections, not only families enrolled in the marketplace. In a letter to Congress dated January 13th, Governor Herbert and state officials expressed interest in rolling back ACA protections from insurance discrimination based on gender. In the same letter, they also supported a return to exclusions for those with pre-existing conditions. The roll-back of these ACA protections would lead to an increased medical burden for many Utah families.

The report by the Urban Institute estimated that by 2019, Utahns would see the following consequences of ACA repeal:

  • 273,000 more Utahns would become uninsured, raising Utah’s total uninsured rate from 12% to 21%.
  • 73,000 Utah children would become newly uninsured, resulting in 141,000 children without insurance. Of the Utah children who stand to lose insurance, 88% have at least one full-time working parent in the home.
  • 89,000 additional Utah parents would become uninsured, putting increased economic stress on the entire family.

 “Thanks to the ACA, CHIP and Medicaid, more Utah children are insured than ever before,” said Jessie Mandle, Senior Health Policy Analyst at Voices for Utah Children. “We need a plan to build on these gains, instead of going backward.”

Read the Utah fact sheet here:

The new Utah factsheet is based on research compiled by the Urban Institute in December, which was modeled on a Congressional repeal bill from 2016 similar to present Congressional proposals.