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Kentucky Health Insurance Consumer Guide
This guide was developed to help you understand the health coverage options available to you and your family in Kentucky. The options found in Kentucky’s ACA Marketplace may be a good choice for many consumers, and we will guide you through the options below.
Kentucky residents use a fully state-run health insurance Marketplace – Kynect – to shop for and purchase ACA Marketplace plans. The Marketplace provides access to health insurance products from private insurers. The federal government helps pay for insurance through an advance premium tax credit if you buy coverage from the exchange.
Dental coverage in Kentucky
Looking to improve your smile? Dental insurance may be a smart addition to your health coverage. Our guide explores dental coverage options in Kentucky.
Kentucky’s Medicaid program
Medicaid expansion in Kentucky took effect in 2014. Since then, the state has been a national leader in lowering uninsured rates and expanding coverage. Kentucky's total Medicaid enrollment has grown to more than 1.5 million people.1
Medicare coverage and enrollment in Kentucky
Medicare enrollment in Kentucky stood at 964,947 people as of April 2023.2
Short-term coverage in Kentucky
In Kentucky, short-term health insurance plans adhere to federal regulations. There were at least nine insurers selling short-term health insurance plans in Kentucky in 2023.3
Frequently asked questions about health insurance in Kentucky
Who can buy Marketplace health insurance?
To qualify for health coverage through the Kentucky Marketplace, you must:4
- Live in Kentucky
- Be lawfully present in the United States
- Not be incarcerated
- Not be enrolled in Medicare
Eligibility for financial assistance (premium subsidies and cost-sharing reductions) depends on your income and how it compares with the cost of the second-lowest-cost Silver plan in your area – which depends on your age and location. In addition, to qualify for financial assistance with your Marketplace plan you must:
- Not have access to affordable health coverage through your employer. If your employer offers coverage but you feel it’s too expensive, you can use our Employer Health Plan Affordability Calculator to see if you might qualify for premium subsidies in the Marketplace.
- Not be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.
When can I enroll in an ACA-compliant plan in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, the open enrollment period for individual and family health insurance runs from November 1 to January 15.5
Enrollments must be submitted by December 15 in order to have coverage effective January 1. Enrollments submitted in the final month of the open enrollment window have an effective date of February 1 instead.4
Outside of open enrollment, a qualifying event is necessary to enroll or make changes to your coverage. If you have questions about open enrollment, you can learn more in our comprehensive guide to open enrollment. We also have a comprehensive guide to special enrollment periods.
How do I enroll in a Marketplace plan in Kentucky?
To enroll in an ACA Marketplace plan in Kentucky, you can:
- Visit Kynect to access Kentucky’s state-run health insurance Marketplace. Here you will find an online platform to shop, compare, and choose the best health plans.
- Purchase individual and family health coverage with the help of an insurance agent or broker, a Navigator or certified application counselor, or an approved enhanced direct enrollment entity.6
How can I find affordable health insurance in Kentucky?
You may find affordable health insurance options in Kentucky through its state-run health insurance exchange.This means that Kentucky residents would use Kynect (not HealthCare.gov) to shop, review, and enroll in health coverage as well as to determine any available subsidies.
For residents using the Kentucky exchange, about 83% of eligible enrollees save money on premium payments amounting to an average savings of $495/month – and those subsidies resulted in an average monthly premium of $124/month.7
The Affordable Care Act provides income-based advance premium tax credits (subsidies) that offset your premium payments to help keep your expenses down. People with household incomes below 250%of the federal poverty level also qualify for cost-sharing reductions (CSR) that may reduce your deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses when you buy a Silver plan. Between the premium subsidies and cost-sharing reductions, you may find that an ACA plan is the cheapest health insurance option for you.
How many insurers offer Marketplace coverage in Kentucky?
There are four insurers offering individual and family health plans through Kynect for 2023.8
There are just six counties in Kentucky where Anthem is the only option for 2023. In most Kentucky counties, at least one carrier offers plans on the exchange for 2023.8
Are Marketplace health insurance premiums increasing in Kentucky?
Initially, Kentucky’s health insurance companies proposed an overall average rate increase of 8.2% for 2023. Once the final rates were approved, the overall average rate increase amounted to 6.25%.9
Kentucky’s individual market insurers have proposed the following average rate changes for 2024:10
Kentucky’s ACA Marketplace Plan 2024 Proposed Rate Increases by Insurance Company
How many people are insured through Kentucky’s Marketplace?
In the open enrollment period for 2023 coverage, 62,562 people enrolled in private health coverage through the Kentucky exchange.7
The surge in enrollment during these years happened in part due to the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which expanded enrollee access to ACA’s premium subsidies.11
What health insurance resources are available to Kentucky residents?
Kynect – Kentucky’s Healthcare Connection
Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange
Administrative site for Kentucky’s Marketplace
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 /[email protected]
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.Footnotes
- “April 2023 Medicaid & CHIP Enrollment Data Highlights” Medicaid.gov, April 28, 2023
- “Medicare Monthly Enrollment” CMS.gov, April 2023.
- “Availability of short-term health insurance in Kentucky” healthinsurance.org, April 6, 2023
- ”A quick guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace” HealthCare.gov
- “Need Health Insurance” Kentucky.gov, 2023
- “Entities Approved to Use Enhanced Direct Enrollment” CMS.gov, April 28, 2023
- “2023 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2023
- “2023 Health Insurance Companies” Kentucky.gov, 2023
- “KY final average unsubsidized rates 2023” ACAsignups.net, Oct. 19, 2022
- “Health Rate Filings” Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet, Kentucky.gov, Accessed August 2023
- “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2023 Open Enrollment Report” CMS.gov, Accessed August 2023
- “ASPE Issue Brief (2014)” ASPE, 2015
- “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2015 Open Enrollment Period: March Enrollment Report”, HHS.gov, 2015
- “HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACES 2016 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD: FINAL ENROLLMENT REPORT” HHS.gov, 2016
- “2017 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2017
- “2018 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2018
- “2019 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2019
- “2020 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2020
- “2021 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2021
- “2022 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2022