LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 16, 2013) – Kentucky became one of the first states in the country to open a toll-free health benefit exchange call center for its citizens today when Gov. Steve Beshear celebrated the grand opening of the kynect contact center in Lexington.
The contact center, a major component of the Affordable Care Act, is operated through a contract with Xerox.
“In just 45 days, Kentucky citizens will be able to choose and enroll in a health insurance plan on kynect: Kentucky’s Healthcare Connection. Today, we have reached an important milestone in ensuring all Kentuckians have access to affordable healthcare coverage,” said Gov. Beshear. “This facility plays a key role for kynect, answering questions for more than 640,000 Kentuckians who will be newly eligible for health insurance or Medicaid coverage.”
More than 60 professional customer care representatives at Xerox’s Lexington facility are available to answer questions about kynect and to help citizens navigate the online application process. Representatives are available via phone, live online chat and email. Representatives are also available to help Kentuckians without internet access by helping them complete and file applications.
The kynect website can be found at www.kynect.com.
The call center staff is expected to grow to 100 representatives in time for the start of open enrollment on Oct. 1.
The contact center provides assistance in English, Spanish and other languages and can be reached at 1-855-4kynect (459-6328).
“We are excited about the opening of the contact center and extremely pleased that the Commonwealth is among the first in the nation to activate a toll-free hotline for Kentuckians seeking information about kynect,” said Audrey Tayse Haynes, secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “The contact center, along with our online site, will provide convenient access for Kentuckians who need assistance using the Exchange to find health coverage.”
Xerox, a global leader in business process and document management, has deployed state-of-the-art technology to operate the contact center and ensure optimal connections with appropriate government agencies. For example, if a caller may be eligible for Medicaid assistance, Xerox can seamlessly transfer the call for a final eligibility determination. Known as “warm connect,” Xerox has collaborated closely with state officials to complete all the technical preparations that will ensure callers receive efficient and speedy service from the most appropriate information source.
“Selecting and purchasing health insurance through an exchange will be a new experience for people,” saidConnie Harvey, corporate vice president and chief operating officer, Healthcare Services, Xerox. “We expect many will have questions about both the process and the options available to them. The kynect contact center is a way to make personal contact and share reliable information with Kentuckians who are making important healthcare decisions.”
Open enrollment for kynect will begin on Oct. 1, 2013 with coverage effective beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Federal funding from the ACA will support contact center start-up, staffing and training through 2014.
“Staff members at the Office of the Health Benefit Exchange continue to work tirelessly to ensure that everything is in place for open enrollment on Oct. 1,” said Carrie Banahan, executive director of the Exchange. “We are extremely pleased with the progress that has been made to date and we look forward to working with Xerox as calls begin coming into the call center.”