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100,000-Plus Kentuckians Signed Up For Health Insurance Via Kynect

Phalinn Ooi/Creative Commons

More than 100,000 Kentuckians have renewed or enrolled in health care coverage through Kynect since open enrollment began Nov. 15, said Carrie Banahan, executive director of the state's health care exchange.

Kentucky has had 25,354 new enrollees, Banahan said during a conference call Wednesday with health care exchange directors from New York, California and Washington state.

Of those about 9,200 have enrolled in a qualified health plan and 6,000 are eligible for a federal tax credit to help cover their health care costs.

Kentucky had 40,572 new enrollees in the first five weeks of the 2013 open enrollment, according to a news release issued last year by the governor's office. Of those 7,011 enrolled in a qualified health plan and 16,425 had been identified as eligible for a subsidy to purchase a qualified health plan.
Banahan said about 75,700 people passively renewed coverage and more than 16,000 people have been enrolled in Medicaid, which accounts for 65 percent of new enrollees.

And 21,456 people made some type of change to their qualified health plan, which may include picking another insurer, reporting a change in income, or adding a household member, she said.

The Kynect retail store at Fayette Mall in Lexington has seen 4,256 visitors since its opening last month. The shop has taken 2,343 applications.

Banahan said it's too early to determine the demographics of new enrollees.

About 12,000 Kentucky residents aren't getting a cost-sharing reduction they're qualified for through the exchange's "Silver" plan because they enrolled in other plans, she said.

"We'll be working with their agent or their Kynector, if they have one, to reach out to that individual to advise them that enrolling in a Silver plan with the cost-sharing reduction could possibly be cheaper," she said.

Banahan said the a change this year to allow consumers to see their expected actual out-of-pocket expenses while shopping has gotten positive feedback.

Banahan said state officials don't have projections for enrollment through the Feb. 15 deadline, but their goal is to enroll as many people as possible.

"We know that we're going to enroll thousands of more people in the next two months," she said.