Kentucky health insurance exchange
Beshear urges Kentuckians: ‘Do yourself a favor’
By Carla Anderson
October 22, 2013
Kynect is being touted as one the nation’s most successful rollouts of the health insurance marketplaces. Through Oct. 17, more than 15,000 people had signed up for coverage and more than 34,000 had begun the application process. While some technical problems were apparent on Oct. 1 when the marketplace launched, they appear resolved and Kynect is operating more smoothly than most other marketplaces.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear went against public sentiment in deciding the state would run its own marketplace. In an article in The New York Times, Beshear urged state residents to set aside politics and use the marketplace to get insured. “You don’t have to like the president; you don’t have to like me. Because this isn’t about him, and it’s not about me. It’s about you, your family and your children. So do yourself a favor. Find what you can get for yourself.”
Kynect was one of the few marketplaces established through an executive order. Beshear’s order to establish the exchange in July 2012 followed months of seeming inaction on the exchange by the executive and legislative branches in the state. Kynect is part of the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and it is overseen by 19-member board appointed by Beshear.
Five insurers are participating in Kentucky’s marketplace: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Bluegrass Family Health, Humana, Kentucky Health Cooperative, and UnitedHealthcare.
While the state has not established an official goal, there are hopes of enrolling about half of the state’s uninsured during the first open enrollment period, which runs Oct. 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. To support that goal, the state is spending about $11 million on outreach and marketing, and it has trained 5,000 people to support enrollment — including state employees, insurance agents, volunteers and representative of various community groups and social service organizations.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 620,000 Kentucky residents are uninsured and eligible to use the marketplace.
Kentucky health insurance exchange links
Kynect - Kentucky’s Healthcare Connection
State Exchange Profile: Kentucky
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Kentucky’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.
Consumer Protection and Education Division, Kentucky Office of Insurance
Serves residents in fully insured plan.
(502) 564-6034 / Toll Free: 1-800-595-6053
Kentucky Health Insurance Advocate, Kentucky Department of Insurance
Assists people insured by private health plans, Medicaid, or other plans in resolving problems pertaining to their health coverage; assists uninsured residents with access to care.
(877) 587-7222 /DOI.CAPOmbudsman@ky.gov