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Utahns on Primary Care Network Won't Lose Insurance Yet

Utahns who receive health insurance through the state’s Primary Care Network will likely have more time before they are cut from the program. PCN was set to expire at the end of this year, but state health officials say they have verbal confirmation from the federal government that the program will be funded for another year.

The Primary Care Network or PCN is the state’s alternative to Medicaid for low-income adults. Utah lawmakers have not yet decided whether to expand Medicaid to cover these people. It’s been an open question what would happen to their health insurance come January 1st. Utah Department of Health spokesperson Kolbi Young says the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services -  or CMS - has verbally agreed to fund PCN for another year.

“CMS has been understanding and cooperative, knowing that this population would be left without coverage if they were to not extend the program until the state has made its decision,” Young says.  

She says she expects an official PCN extension from the federal government in a matter of weeks. There are currently more than 15,000 Utahns covered by PCN. To qualify, enrollees must be between 19 and 64 years old and below 150 percent of the poverty level. For a single individual, that’s under $17,000 a year. The program is not enrolling any new members at this time.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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