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Health Indicator Report of Health Insurance Coverage

Most people need medical care at some time in their lives. Medical care is often quite expensive and is becoming more expensive. Health insurance covers all or some costs of care and protects people from very high expenses. Persons with health insurance are more likely than persons without health insurance to have a regular source of primary health care and to have routine preventive care. Persons without coverage have often delay seeking needed care and find services difficult to afford.

No Health Insurance Coverage by Ethnicity, Utah, 2013


Health insurance is defined as including private coverage, Medicaid, Medicare, and other government programs.   [[br]] [[br]] Age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population using 6 age-adjustment age groups.

Data Source

Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

Estimates of the uninsured in Utah are currently calculated using a set of state-added questions included on the Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Formerly these questions were asked on two state-based surveys - the Utah Healthcare Access Survey (UHAS) and the Utah Health Status Survey (HSS). Since 2011 the BRFSS has included both landline and cell phone telephone interviews as well as an updated weighting methodology. For more information about the changing methodology, please see: Compared with state surveys in Utah, the U.S. Current Population Survey (CPS) has historically yielded higher estimates for the proportion of the Utah population with no health insurance coverage. The reasons for this are not entirely clear, but may include difference in question wording, data weighting, and data imputation for missing values. For a thorough discussion of why state health insurance estimates generally differ from those produced by the U.S. Census Bureau, please refer to the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) publication 'Comparing Federal Government Surveys that Count the Uninsured: 2014' at The Census Bureau suggests using 2-year averages to look at changes in state rates over time, according to the CPS 2009 Annual Social and Economic Supplement technical notes, Appendix G, available at For the historical CPS graph, we use the CPS single-year estimates to compare with the UHAS one-year estimates. Though CPS does not suppress Utah's single-year estimates, they should be interpreted with some caution. Starting in 2008, the American Community Survey (ACS) has also included a question about health insurance coverage. The ACS has a larger sample size and may yield more accurate estimates of health insurance coverage. However, because there are only six years of data from this survey so far, this indicator will continue to include historical national numbers from the CPS.


The percentage of persons without health insurance coverage.


Number of persons in the survey sample who lacked health insurance coverage.


Total number of persons in the survey sample.

Healthy People Objective AHS-1.1:

Increase the proportion of persons with medical insurance
U.S. Target: 100 percent

Other Objectives

One of Utah's 42 Community Health Indicators One of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Chronic Disease Indicators.

How Are We Doing?

In 2013, an estimated 335,700 Utahns (11.6%) were without health insurance coverage. This is not quite a statistically significant difference from the previous year's rate of 13.2%. It does, however, represent a substantial decrease that is in agreement with other estimates of the uninsured in Utah.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2013, the ACS estimate for uninsured Utahns was 14.0% while the national estimate was 14.5% making Utah's rate of uninsured similar to the national rate, according to the ACS. As noted above, the Utah BRFSS data puts the Utah uninsured rate lower at 11.6% in 2013. There is not a comparable national estimate of the uninsured from the BRFSS because the questions used to estimate insurance coverage are considered "state-added" questions and are specific to Utah.

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Department of Health administers programs to improve access to care, such as Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Primary Care Network (PCN), and Utah's Premium Partnership for Health Insurance (UPP). The Department also works to improve the "safety net" for persons who lack health insurance. This is done through primary care grants to rural areas and clinics for children with disabilities. Local health departments provide preventive services such as immunizations and screenings at low or no cost to eligible persons who cannot afford them.

Available Services

MEDICAID: In the Salt Lake City area, call (801) 538-6155. In Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada, call toll-free 1-800-662-9651. From other states, call 1-801-538-6155. Medicaid Customer Service staff are available to take inquiries. Call the Health Resource Line: 1-888-222-2542 for information on CHIP and the PCN. CHIP: Children's Health Insurance Program (for children 0-18) Or visit the CHIP website at PCN: Utah Primary Care Network (for low-income adults) UPP: Utah's Premium Partnership for Health Insurance phone: 1-888-222-2542 or visit

Health Program Information

Concerns about rising health care costs and the affordability of health care insurance lead to enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. In Utah, citizens can sign up for health insurance through the federal exchange or through Utah's exchange, Avenue H, if they work for a participating small business. In addition, there are competing proposals in Utah as an alternative to a Medicaid expansion. Utah Governor Gary Herbert has developed the Healthy Utah Plan. The plan provides a way for tens of thousands of low-income Utahns to get help obtaining health insurance coverage either through Utah's health insurance market place or through their jobs. It takes advantage of federal money offered to states for Medicaid expansion. The Governor still has to get lawnakers to sign off on the proposal. You can read the whole Healthy Utah Proposal online here:
Page Content Updated On 01/14/2015, Published on 03/03/2015
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 30 November 2015 20:50:23 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:46:14 MDT