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Utah gov considered changing workers health plans

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 24, 2013 at 6:17 pm •  Published: April 24, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gov. Gary Herbert considered but abandoned a plan to shift government workers from a state-sponsored health plan and into Utah's existing health insurance marketplace for small businesses, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The proposal didn't get far.

"It was simply thinking out loud and identifying as a concept to be further explored," said Herbert's spokeswoman Ally Isom.

The idea, however, was similar to one that lawmakers in Washington state are considering to reduce that state's health care costs. Officials there are weighing whether to move some part-time government workers from a state-sponsored health plan to the insurance exchange developed under President Barack Obama's health care law.

Isom said there was no further study of the issue after Herbert floated it during a February address to the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. She said it's not a path state officials want to pursue for the state's employees and their dependents.

"At this point, it's not an option that's on the table for the state of Utah," she said.

States around the country have been deciding whether to run their own insurance exchanges, but for Utah that decision has been unique.

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