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Kentuckians with ACA Marketplace Plans Now Can Save on Coverage

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Thursday, April 29, 2021   

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- More than 122,000 Kentuckians may be able to find marketplace health coverage for $10 or less per month after premium tax credits, and more than 7,000 people could be eligible for zero-cost plans.

The changes come under several new provisions in President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan aimed at lowering health-insurance costs, especially for those who lost their employer-sponsored coverage during the pandemic.

Chet White, a Lexington resident, said he relies on marketplace coverage for himself and his child, and typically paid around $550 each month, until he called to reapply and receive new tax credits that significantly lowered his monthly premium.

"I called CareSource, told the lady what I wanted to do, and she walked me through the whole application process again and I basically just re-applied for insurance," White recounted. "Come to find out, it saved me, I believe, $340 this month for the remainder of this year."

Kentuckians already enrolled in a marketplace plan can go back and update their application to see the new increased subsidies applied to their monthly premiums. The Affordable Care Act's special enrollment period has been extended to August 15, which gives residents an additional three months to sign up.

Priscilla Easterling, outreach coordinator at Kentucky Voices for Health, said another new provision will soon be available to Kentuckians who received unemployment insurance. People who received at least one week of employment compensation in 2021 qualify for a zero-dollar monthly premium beginning later this summer.

"It's worthwhile going to healthcare.gov and just checking out what the options are and what the cost would be," Easterling urged. "There's a large group of people who are going to be able to get those increased health-care subsidies."

Easterling noted while this opportunity will not be available on healthcare.gov until July, she advised consumers to go ahead and submit an application to enroll.

White emphasized the reapplication process was easy and said it has been a game changer.

"It gives me some room to do other things, and to save, and to save for my kids, and do some stuff to my house," White explained. "It was a huge relief and felt like a burden was lifted from me."

Kentuckians with questions or who want to update or submit an application over the phone can call the marketplace directly at 1-800-318-2596. To get local help or more state-specific information, use the find the kynector tool online or call 1-855-459-6328 for help finding a kynector in your county.

Disclosure: Kentucky Voices for Health contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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