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Utah insurers offering affordable plan

Utah insurers offering affordable plan



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah's health-care insurers are rolling out an affordable policy that will become available to people for up to a year after they leave jobs and employer-sponsored health plans.

The so-called NetCare plan will cost a third of the price of the average large-group plan. It would be far cheaper than using COBRA coverage, which allows people to stay on a workplace insurance plan by paying employer premiums.

Insurers unveiled elements of the new product Friday at the urging of Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and the Legislature's Health System Reform Task Force.

It will buy time for larger reforms that move Utah closer to a goal of getting everyone insured, said Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville.

NetCare will be "mandate light," meaning it won't include all the benefits required by the state for an insurance policy.

It will offer preventative care for $5 per doctor visit, and a maximum of $300 in medical services a year before a 30-percent deductible kicks in.

Generic drugs will come with a $15 co-payment.

Rep. David Clark, R-Santa Clara, the task force's House chair, took insurers and brokers to task for opposing another reform -- an online portal that would help consumers compare varying insurance plans at once. Insurers say that will cost too much.

Affordable health insurance is one of Huntsman's major policy goals as he seeks re-election Tuesday to a second term.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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