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Utah finds rebound in large-group enrollment

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A jump in group health enrollment at large Utah employers offset a drop in enrollment in individual and small-group health insurance arrangements in 2010, according to Utah insurance regulators.

Total enrollment in commercial health coverage arrangements in the state increased 0.8 percent between 2009 and 2010, to 691,345, officials said in the state’s latest health insurance market report

Enrollment in large-group plans rose 3.2 percent, to 492,561, as enrollment in small-group plans fell 4.7 percent, to 198,784.

The number of individuals using individual policies or “conversion” policies, such as COBRA policies, fell 2.6 percent, to 139,185.

Although large-group enrollment rose between 2009 and 2010, large employer plans were covering a much smaller share of the Utah population in 2010 than they were covering in 2001, officials said.

The share of U.S. residents covered by individual policies and conversion arrangements increased to 5 percent, from 4.9 percent, over that period.

The percentage in small-group plans fell to 7.2 percent, from 9.1 percent, and the percentage in large-group plans fell to 17.8 percent, from 23.3 percent.

The average premium per Utah member per month was $229 in 2010. That was up from $221 in 2009 and up from $123 in 2001.

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