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Utahns searching for new low-cost health coverage after Arches announces closure

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BOUNTIFUL, UTAH – About 35,000 Utahns are scrambling to find health care insurance after Arches Health Plan announced it is closing its doors.

The non-profit co-op told customers Tuesday it doesn’t have enough money to continue operating, so they’ll have to find a new plan by January 1.

Customers who spoke with FOX 13 say they are stunned. A few weeks ago, they were told premiums were going up 300 percent.

Now, they’ve learned the company is shutting down. They’re afraid that the few options out there will come at a high price.

“The less options you have, the bigger predicament you have,” said Oswaldo Demoura, an Arches customer.

Oswaldo and Ana Demoura of Bountiful are losing access to low-cost health care coverage provided by Arches. Customers will have to find a new carrier when the enrollment period begins November 1.

“What they're doing to us is obscene," Oswaldo said. "I don't have other words to describe it."

For months, Ana Demoura has suffered from a bacterial infection. She needs insurance to cover tests that can determine further treatment.

“This is really, really stressful for me," she said.

Arches says they’re unable to cover all of its members' claims next year.

Payments from a federal program known as Risk Corridors came in lower than expected at 12.6 percent.

Arches was expecting to get $34 million, but they’re only getting a fraction of that.

“When that Risk Corridor program was not paying out as it was originally designed to do, none of us can fix that,” said Tricia Schumann, a Communications Officer at Arches Health Plan.

People living in rural counties only have one option available now on the federal health exchange: SelectHealth, which is owned by Intermountain Healthcare.

“This is going to create a vacuum in the counties. We know that. Some of the counties are going to have limited resources available to them,” said Todd Kiser of the Utah Insurance Department.

The Demoura’s are worried the few options they have are going to cost a lot.

“The insurance companies have the advantage, not you: we are a fish in a barrel,” Demoura said.

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  • Craig Smith

    Anyone with half of a brain who had done even a little research knew Obamacare was going to be a disaster within 4 years. It is just happening a little sooner than expected. I had coverage with Arches, I can hardly wait to see what I will get stuck with for 2016. Thank God I am healthy at this point and good coverage is not as vital for me as it is for some people. Hopefully politicians will begin to wake up and see what a disaster this is and find an alternative.

  • Daniel R

    Amen Craig!
    The A.C.A. is a joke and has been from day one. Nothing about Obamacare is affordable and the fact that it is called the affordable care act is just stupid!! How dumb do they think people are? Seriously! Set aside the fact that the plan was not originally going to be a tax but now is justified by the Supreme Court as a “constitutional tax.” What a disgrace! They use the title of the very document that is supposed to forbid such actions by our own government to justify their actions, the height of hypocrisy! Taxation without representation and it’s called a “constitutional tax” the affordable care act. If there is any justice at all the men who approved the A.C.A. on the council of the Supreme Court should lose their jobs and be forced to serve time at least 5 years in a federal penitentiary. Obama should serve at least one year for every scandal he has been part of since he became president, so basically he will be going in for the rest of his life, again this would only happen if there were any actual true justice on this planet but good luck with that!!!

  • Apologist JD

    For all you Obama fans out there: How’s that cheap/free healthcare working out for you? Even with me paying for it you still can’t afford it? Consider free markets next time, nothing has produced the same prosperity in the history of the world!

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