Kentucky Health Insurance
Many Kentucky residents have new ways to access health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act. According to a November 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation profile, in July 2012, Kentucky Gov. Steven Beshear issued an executive order to establish the state health insurance exchange. In May 2013, the state announced its new website is called “Kynect,” and it can be found at KyEnroll.ky.gov. Additionally, Kentucky is one of 27 states plus Washington, D.C., that chose to expand Medicaid eligibility in 2014.
Kentucky residents will be able to purchase qualified health plans through the Kynect marketplace. Some medical plans come with embedded dental and vision benefits, and you can also find stand-alone dental and vision plans.
To apply for coverage, you’ll simply set up an account and complete the application process during open enrollment. The state also has specially trained insurance agents and “Kynectors” who can assist you with your application.
After you apply, you can also learn if you and your family members qualify for premium financial assistance, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Do you qualify for an Obamacare subsidy?
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, people who make between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level may qualify for subsidies to offset the cost of insurance premiums.
Eligibility for a subsidy will generally be determined using 2013 poverty level limits, and eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP will usually be determined using 2014 limits.
The income range to qualify for a subsidy is between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four and between $11,490 and $45,960 for an individual. These subsidies come in the form of federal income tax credits, and they may be immediately applied to qualified plan premiums.
Typically, Kentucky residents who already have access to other affordable medical plans such as Medicare, Medicaid or employer-sponsored medical benefits will not qualify for subsidies. If you are happy with your current coverage, you are free to keep it.
The Affordable Care Act has had the following effects on state health care.
- The state expanded Medicaid coverage to most adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level. This is an income of about $32,915 for a family of four.
- Children from Kentucky families who earn less than 218 percent of the poverty level, or $51,995 a year for a family of four, may qualify for CHIP.
- According to a January 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation state profile, 76 percent of previously uninsured Kentucky residents can qualify for financial assistance in the form of premium tax credits, Medicaid or CHIP.
What if I don’t qualify for a subsidy in Kentucky?
If you make more than 400 percent of the poverty level or already have access to other health insurance, you may still purchase a plan through Kentucky’s marketplace. These plans offer comprehensive benefits, and insurers cannot deny coverage to you based on your pre-existing health conditions.
Health insurance companies in Kentucky
These are a few companies that offer major medical plans in Kentucky and participate in Kynect, the state marketplace.
- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- Kentucky Health Cooperative
Kentucky health and coverage statistics
Kentucky population (2013): 4,395,295
Population 65 and older (2012): 14.0 percent
Life expectancy (2010): 76.0 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2012): 761,700
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2012): 599,700
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 651,500
Overall state health ranking: 45
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Health Rankings 2014 report.
Kentucky health insurance resources
Kynect (Kentucky’s health insurance marketplace): https://kyenroll.ky.gov/
Kentucky Department of Insurance: http://insurance.ky.gov/
Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services: http://www.chfs.ky.gov/dms