Study shows Utahns leads the nation in employer-provided health insurance, but premiums have doubled

Utah has a thriving, job-creating economy.

And we have a history of taking care of one another.

Perhaps that’s why a new Utah Foundation study finds that the Beehive State leads the nation in the percent of the population covered by employer-sponsored health insurance.

According to the analysis, 61 percent of the population currently has health insurance provided by their employer.

The national average is just 41 percent.

However, like other parts of the nation, Utah employers are moving to “high deductible” health insurance plans, where the employee is responsible for all or a major part of their medical costs until they hit a certain overall cost in a year – then the health insurance kicks in.

UF found that over the last 10 years, high-cost deducible plans went from making up 3 percent of private health insurance to 30 percent.

And, the study finds, from 2006 to 2016, the premiums of employer-based health insurance have doubled for the average individual or family in Utah.


On the plus side, wages in Utah have risen over the last decade, and, on average, health insurance costs here remain below 10 percent of median income – so most individuals and families can afford their health insurance, even if it costs a lot more than it used to.

Finally, while senior citizens in Utah can get Medicare (as they can across the nation), here many of those seniors don’t have a lot of retirement income.

Half of all Medicare users are classified as low-to-moderate income – meaning they can be burdened with high medical costs beyond what Medicare pays for.

The full report is here.