The State of Healthcare in Utah (And What It Means for Its Residents)

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Health is wealth. This saying seems truer when you hit a certain age, and every ache and pain comes with a hefty price tag. Imagine working hard, saving money for a rainy day, and then getting hit with a health issue that’s not only a hindrance but also a drain on your wallet. When these things happen, the financial strain can be significant even if you have a nest egg to draw from.

If you live in the Beehive State, knowing how the healthcare industry is doing can offer valuable information to protect your savings. Discover the state of healthcare in Utah, as well as its accessibility and costs, in this guide.

Utah’s Healthcare at a Glance (And What It Means for Utahns)

Here’s a closer look at Utah’s healthcare scene, the numbers, and their implications for you or those who call this vibrant state home.

Accessibility of healthcare

  • In 2021, approximately 9.03% of Utah’s population did not have health insurance coverage. For many, this lack of accessibility translates into tough decisions about when and where to seek medical care, often leading to delayed treatment or reliance on emergency services for preventable conditions.
  • The age-adjusted percentage of Utah adults unable to afford an appointment with the doctor due to cost constraints was 11.6% in 2022. This figure underscores the financial strain experienced by individuals and families across the state when accessing primary healthcare services.
  • Utah has a shortage of primary care providers, with only 184.3 active practitioners per 100,000 population compared to the national average of 232.0 per 100,000. The shortage means longer wait times for appointments and limited options for those seeking primary care services, impacting their ability to address health concerns promptly.

Despite the not-so-ideal numbers, there is a glimmer of progress. Utah’s number of mental health providers increased to 402.1 per 100,000 in September 2022, up from 382.5. This uptick signifies strides in addressing the growing demand for mental health services, offering hope for those grappling with psychological and emotional conditions.

Healthcare costs and affordability

Regarding healthcare expenses, you may find they are somewhat more favorable than the national average. 

  • For a family of two adults and three children, the average healthcare cost is $7,214. This figure is notably below the average medical care cost across the United States. For example, New York’s and California’s healthcare costs are $9,777 and $7,689, respectively. This discrepancy relieves financial burdens when watching out for your health.
  • The index of healthcare costs in Utah, at 91.9, sits slightly lower than the national average, indicating its affordability within the nation. 
  • If you live alone, Utah’s average health insurance cost is around $599. With insurance premiums falling within this range, you may find greater ease in looking for essential medical services without shouldering exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses.

However, while the cost of healthcare may appear manageable on the surface, a closer examination reveals underlying challenges. 

  • In 2020, healthcare spending by various entities, including businesses, insurance agencies, households, and governments, amounted to $8,789 per Utah resident, a paltry sum compared to the $11,910 average nationwide.  
  • Nearly 7 in 10 Utahns experienced at least one healthcare affordability burden between 2022 and 2023. Over four in five people also have concerns about their ability to afford healthcare in the future.

How to Get The Most Out of Utah’s Healthcare System

By understanding your options and tapping into available resources, you can make informed decisions concerning your health. Here are some strategies to get the most out of Utah’s healthcare system.

Understand your health insurance options

Start by familiarizing yourself with the various health insurance plans available in Utah. Whether you’re exploring employer-sponsored coverage, individual plans, or government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, or Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP), understanding the nuances of each can help you choose the most suitable plan for your needs and budget.

Utilize preventive care services

Prevention is vital to maintaining good health and avoiding costly medical interventions down the road. Take advantage of your insurance plan’s preventive services, such as annual check-ups, vaccinations, and screenings. 

These proactive measures help detect potential health issues early and promote overall well-being.

Navigate Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP programs

You must understand the eligibility criteria and enrollment process to qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP programs. These programs offer you and your family vital healthcare coverage, with access to essential medical services and prescription medications.

Leverage health department resources

Utah’s state and local health departments have resources and programs to promote community health and wellness. From immunization clinics to maternal and child health services, these offices provide valuable support and information to improve health outcomes.

Consult with a financial advisor

Healthcare expenses can significantly impact your financial well-being. Consider getting a financial advisor to develop a comprehensive plan for managing costs and maximizing your dollars. They can help you navigate insurance options, budget medical expenses, and plan for future healthcare needs.

From Health to Wealth

You can confidently make better decisions if you understand Utah’s healthcare industry better. From studying insurance options to maximizing preventive care, these valuable strategies can bolster your health and wealth.

Tencap’s comprehensive financial services let you grow your savings for the future. Discover the seven reasons why our advisory services are worth the investment, or learn more information by exploring our website.

Photo of Nick Carrigan
Nick Carrigan
Wealth Advisor

Nick trains and develops families in creating, maintaining, and growing wealth. This includes educating clients on the science and academics of investing, comprehensive financial planning, and ongoing coaching to ensure discipline for a lifetime. Nick has seen this create incredible levels of freedom, fulfillment, and love for the families he works with.

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