KYnect

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According to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll, 77 percent of adults in the state know about the state's online health insurance marketplace. 

But, the survey released this week also indicates only 17 percent of uninsured adults say they have tried to get more information about Kynect. 

If you passively renewed your health insurance plan this enrollment period through Kynect, you may be one of thousands who are missing out on a cost-saving insurance plan.

Carrie Banahan, executive director of Kynect, said about 12,000 qualified Kentucky residents aren’t getting a cost-sharing reduction through the health insurance exchange’s “Silver” plan because they are enrolled in other plans.

“Folks might have just gone to the ‘Platinum’ plan  and said, ‘Yep, that’s the one I want,’ and didn’t look at their other options,” she said.

An important deadline is just days away for Kentuckians needing health insurance. 

Although the second enrollment period on Kentucky’s health care exchange runs until February 15, residents must sign up for coverage by Monday in order to be covered when the new year begins. 

"If you wait until February 15th the soonest your effective date can be is March 1st," explains Kynect Executive Director Carrie Banahan.  "If you're wanting coverage by January 1st, you really need to enroll by Monday, December 15th."

More than 18,000 Kentuckians have been filed applications for private insurance or Medicaid since open enrollment began a month ago.  The first month of last year’s enrollment period resulted in 32,000 applications. 

"Keep in mind that last year we enrolled more than 400,000 people," adds Banahan.  "There was a lot of pent up demand among people who didn't have insurance coverage, and now a lot of folks do."

Most of the uninsured have gained coverage through an expansion of Medicaid. 

According to one poll, Kentucky's uninsured rate fell from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 11.9 in 2014.

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Gov. Steve Beshear says the first week of kynect’s latest open enrollment period is “going strong.”

The governor’s office reports that the health exchange’s website received 72,000 visits in the last week with more than 6,400 new applications submitted and 4,100 Kentuckians newly enrolled. 

Kentucky’s Second District Congressman is predicting a major “re-write” of the Affordable Care Act next year.

Bowling Green Republican Brett Guthrie would have an up-close view of such an effort, as he was named vice-chair of a key House Health Subcommittee Wednesday.

Guthrie says the complicated structure of the federal health law makes it difficult to change certain aspects of the A.C.A without creating unintended consequences elsewhere.

“You hear a lot of people say, ‘let’s keep what we like and fix what we don’t like.’ And there are things that we need as part of our system. We need to make sure that people have health care if they’re sick, and pre-existing conditions don’t push them out of the marketplace.”

But the Bowling Green Republican said adding so many additional Americans to the healthcare system made it impossible for President Obama to keep his pledge that everyone could keep the doctor and health plan that they wanted.

The Congressman also expressed concern about states—like Kentucky—that expanded their Medicaid rolls as part of Obamacare.

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Governor Steve Beshear has announced a new open period for Kentuckians to enroll in kynect, the state-sponsored health care exchange, as well as new technical improvements to the site.

In a press conference today, Beshear touted the fact that Kentucky was hailed by President Obama as a leading national example of successful Affordable Care Act implementation. 

Federal officials are planning a wide range of audits into billing and government spending on managed health care in the new fiscal year, ranging from private Medicare Advantage groups that treat millions of elderly to health plans rapidly expanding under the Affordable Care Act.

The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, which investigates Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse, said it would conduct "various reviews" of Medicare Advantage billing practices with an eye toward curbing overcharges. Results are due next year.

Kynect cannot survive without the Affordable Care Act, according to its director and a Kentucky public health educator.

The Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, has been a hot political topic since before President Obama signed it into law in 2010. The issue has been a leading point of contention between the leading candidates in Kentucky's high-profile Senate race.

Kynect Benefiting HIV/AIDS Patients, Programs

Sep 17, 2014
kynect.ky.gov

The expansion of Medicaid in Kentucky under the Affordable Care Act is benefiting a program run by the state that prescribes medication to low-income patients with  HIV and AIDS. 

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The percentage of people without health insurance in Kentucky has dropped to the second-lowest rate in the nation.

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