Kentucky health insurance
The Bluegrass State: ranked 45th in latest comparison of states' health status
How healthy is living in Kentucky? There is definitely room for improvement, according to recent data. Kentucky – consistently ranked in the bottom 20 percent of states – is ranked 45th in the United Health Foundation's 2013 comparison of health status across the 50 states.
Why Kentucky was ranked #45
The Bluegrass State faces some obvious challenges that consistently affect its health ranking. Among them: a high prevalence of smoking, of preventable hospitalization, and a high rate of cancer deaths. The state has the highest smoking rate in the nation – with 28.3 percent of the adult population smoking – and obesity is on the rise as well.
For more details see the United Health Foundation’s latest findings on Kentucky.
Trust for America’s Health is another source for key Kentucky health quality findings.
In addition, 2010’s federal health reform, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), included the creation of a prevention fund to provide more than $16 billion over the next 10 years to invest in effective, proven prevention efforts, like childhood obesity prevention and tobacco cessation, and the site has a report on how it impacts Kentucky here.
Get local health results
State snapshot too large? Get county-by-county health rankings for Kentucky, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin.
Does Kentucky have
a health insurance high risk pool?
IMPORTANT UPDATE: In 2010, Kentucky started offering health care insurance coverage to residents through the federally established temporary high-risk pool program. Learn about eligibility here.
Rapidly becoming obsolete as state health insurance exchanges prepare to open, risk pools were state-sponsored programs that helped people who could afford to buy health insurance, but were not able to get underwritten in the private market because of a pre-existing health condition.
Programs varied significantly from state to state in price, benefits and number of people served. Often insurance companies doing business in the state were required to contribute to the pool to keep it in the black.
In the best cases, they allowed people to be able to switch jobs or become self-employed without the fear of losing their health insurance coverage. Read more about risk pools here.