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Healthcare: Government insurance premiums in Utah could rise 40 percent

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Healthcare: Government insurance premiums in Utah could rise 40 percent (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Sticker shock could be coming in Utah for people who buy medical insurance through Healthcare.gov, otherwise known as Obama care.

The Utah Department of Insurance estimated Wednesday, premiums for individual plans could rise nearly 40 percent in 2018.

"People are starting to receive their letters," said Micah Vorwaller, with the Utah Health Policy Project, which tries to get more people insured. "Very worried, very concerned, and frustrated."

Vorwaller said federal subsidies to consumers are likely to continue, and could mean buyers pay the same in the new year -- but subsidies for insurers are in question -- partly leading to the big premium hikes.

"I'm bracing myself for it to go up again," said Jennifer Daily, who has used coverage through healthcare.gov for years.

She knew what it was like to live without, and with.

"I was a single mom, going to graduate school, two small kids," she said.

Now, with an MBA and a good job, and married to a physician, she said her family is living comfortably -- but she and her husband have not had employer health plans.

Before Obamacare, Daily said she paid $600 a month to cover just herself, and the deductible was high, $5,000.

Currently, with Obamacare, she said it's $800 a month for herself and her new baby.

For some, new higher premiums may be devastating, for Daily, not as much.

But she said if premiums rise too much, she might drop from a "gold" to "silver" plan.

Obamacare enrollment for 2018 starts on healthcare.gov on Nov. 1, and goes until Dec. 15.