We here in Utah have some of the best options for health insurance companies in the country. Those options are what we are going to discuss here and how to navigate through everything. One thing to remember though is what may be a great provider and plan for your friend may not be a great option for you.
There are five main providers here; SelectHealth, Humana, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, Altius and Assurant. Let's go into a little detail on each, shall we?
The largest provider in Utah is SelectHealth. Most people know them as Intermountain Healthcare, IHC or by their plan names of SelectValue, SelectMed and SelectCare. They have over 3700 participating doctors and the most hospitals in the state. They are also the administrators of HIPUtah. They offer a number of different plans that can include maternity coverage, dental and vision.
Another carrier here is Humana. Humana offers a broad range of plan options and also have a very large doctor and hospital network. Since Humana is a national insurance provider, their network is available nationwide. What that allows for is if you are traveling out of state, you will be able to find doctors that are in network there. That will help you keep your medical costs down.
Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield is a regional provider that offers a network available in Utah, Idaho and Washington. They offer many different plan types, including HSA, PPO and traditional plans.
Other similar carriers are Assurant and Altius. They all offer a variety of plans to suit your needs, but they also offer what are called traditional plans as well. These were the types of plans that were available prior to PPO and HMO type plans. There is no network of doctors you have to go to. You are able to pick whatever provider you wish and be treated in any hospital. These plans are more expensive, but they allow the freedom you may need.
One thing to remember about companies here in Utah is the networks that they use. IHC hospitals and facilities use only SelectHealth as an in network carrier. What that means is that the largest health care provider in the state only uses one health insurance company (their own) as able to use their facilities at the lowest rates. Now many of the doctors that are IHC doctors are not necessarily only in network for SelectHealth and you need to double check to make sure what networks they are in. So if you find that your IHC doctor is in a number of networks, and you find great coverage with a lower premium with another company, you will have to travel to an in network facility to receive the lowest cost of care. The funny thing is that all non-IHC facilities will accept SelectHealth in network.
Each of these carriers has strong points that fit for certain needs, health conditions and pricing for each family. As we have said before, there is no one size fits all. To help you sift through all of the different providers and their numerous plans, I recommend speaking to someone who knows what would work for you, like a independent insurance agent that is based in Utah. Since they are up to date on any changes or new plans that providers offer, and all the issues that we have in IHC and non-IHC facilities, they can help direct you and make the process quite painless.