Utah Tests Limit of Health Exchange Autonomy

The state says it will implement the Obamacare scheme, but only if it can make its own rules


Utah says it wants to run its own health insurance exchange. The Department of Health and Human Services says it wants Utah to run its own exchange.

If it were only that simple.

Utah says it doesn't want to do much to alter its existing exchange, which it started for small businesses before President Barack Obama's health care law was enacted in 2010. Gov. Gary Herbert's administration says it's ready to add individual coverage, but not much else.

So Utah has become a test of how much flexibility the Obama administration is willing to give to states so they'll agree to build these centerpieces of the health care law — the new health insurance marketplaces for people who don't have another source of coverage.