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Report: Good health saves big money in long run

Report: Good health saves big money in long run



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Utah Department of Health Study
At a glance...
  • On average, in 2009 people in Utah with commercial health insurance cost $2,768 annually, or $231 per person per month (excluding healthy people).
  • Nine percent of the dollars spent on health care in Utah in 2009 were spent on healthy people.
  • Slightly more than five percent of the dollars spent on health care in Utah in 2009 were for spent on healthy children.
  • Slightly more than three percent of the dollars spent on health care in Utah in 2009 were for spent on healthy adults.
  • Healthy males represent 21% of the Utah residents.
  • Healthy females represent 18% of the Utah residents

SALT LAKE CITY -- Most people budget for housing, food and other necessities -- but not for health care. It is one reason why the Utah Department of Health is out with a new report detailing how much it costs you to stay healthy, but also how much you save by staying that way.

Based on claims made to commercial health insurers, the report, "Making Cents of Utah's Healthy Population," found it costs about $385 per year to stay healthy in Utah.

"Once you aren't healthy, those costs on an average go up to over $2,700 a year, or $231 per month," says Mark Gaskill, manager of the All Payer Claims Database.

He says it's hard to pinpoint any one cause for the steep difference.

"It's pharmaceuticals, it's procedures, it's what type of care provider you see," he says, adding that more details like that will be the subject of future reports in the next six months.

The report found healthy people are more likely to get routine screening than those who are not, which in turn keeps their health costs low by keeping them from getting sick.

E-mail: bbruce@ksl.com

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Becky Bruce

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