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Marketplace Enrollment Opens Through State-Based Kynect

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021   

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentuckians have until Jan. 15 to enroll in marketplace health coverage through the state's recently relaunched Kynect website.

The program was dismantled in 2017 by then-Gov. Matt Bevin.

Cara Stewart, director of policy advocacy at Kentucky Voices for Health, explained residents can use the one-stop shop to compare state-managed health-care options, apply for coverage and complete their enrollment all on one platform.

She encouraged anyone considering coverage to reach out to their local "kynector" through the online portal or by calling 1-855-459-6328 to get help to find a plan to suit their needs.

"Even though some of our plans are slightly more expensive this year, they didn't go up by much, and the subsidies are bigger," Stewart pointed out. "So people have more affordable options than they've had in the past."

According to Gov. Andy Beshear's office, the switch to a state-based marketplace is expected to save Kentuckians at least $15 million a year.

Kentuckians who buy commercial health plans through the federal site pay a surcharge on premiums, which will not continue with the state-based marketplace.

Stewart noted enrollment through the federal site healthcare.gov is down statewide from 2020, but she said it has dipped drastically by nearly 27% from Kynect's peak enrollment numbers in 2015.

"Even as our population has increased, the enrollment dropped when we did not have Kynect and the one-stop shop," Stewart observed. "So we have every reason to believe that more Kentuckians will buy health insurance when it's designed for them."

She added families' experiences during the pandemic have highlighted the importance of having health coverage.

"And it's important to have preventive health care, it's important to have access to the kind of health care that you need, at a high quality, when you need it," Stewart contended.

Stewart noted older Kentuckians and those living with disabilities have until Dec. 7 to enroll or make changes to Medicare plans.

Medicaid open enrollment ends on Dec. 1 for those who qualify.

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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