The first practical change in Utah's coming health care system reform unanimously cleared a Senate committee hearing Wednesday evening.

HB351 would give a state tax credit to approximately 140,000 Utahns who purchase their own medical insurance coverage.

The bill, which equalizes a discrepancy in health insurance purchasing that permits employers to pay for medical benefits packages for employees with pre-tax income. Federal law requires individuals to purchase coverage with after-tax dollars.

Credits would range from $300 to $900, from a single individual to a family. HB351 passed the House last week and would take effect Jan. 1, 2009.