While Kentucky’s online marketplace for health insurance is running well, some questions remain about its long term impact.
Louisville Republican Julie Denton, who chairs the Senate’s Health and Welfare Committee, still worries too many newly-insured Kentuckians will have costly health care needs.
“The concern that we have is adverse selection, that those who are signing up are going to be those who’ve got greater medical issues, and we’re not gonna get enough young healthy individuals signed up, so that we would have a dramatic increase in the premiums,” Denton said.
She added the legislature should have a larger say in the system’s management. Kentucky’s governor gave executive orders for both an expansion of Medicaid and the creation of the state’s online marketplace.
Unlike its federally managed counterpart, the commonwealth’s kynect website had a strong start. Since it was launched last month, the governor’s office says more than 100,000 people have used the site to purchase coverage.
In addition to the online option, State Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Haynes said more than a thousand businesses and another two thousand insurance agents are signing people up. She added relatively young Kentuckians are also buying coverage.
“We really anticipated that the 35 and under group would have been some of the last people to sign up, and so to have 41 percent to sign up this early I think is a good sign,” Haynes said.
It’s hoped younger, healthier subscribers will provide the system with much needed revenue. Kentucky’s health benefit exchange is federally funded until January 2015. After that, Haynes said insurance company fees could finance the website.