Home » 4 in 5 uninsured Kentuckians will be eligible for discounts via health benefits marketplace

4 in 5 uninsured Kentuckians will be eligible for discounts via health benefits marketplace

FRANKFORT, Ky.  (Sept. 10, 2013)  Beginning Oct. 1, more than four out of every five uninsured Kentuckians seeking health insurance through Kentucky’s health benefits marketplace will qualify for a discount to make insurance more affordable – and for certain plans, the discounts will completely eliminate monthly premiums for some individuals.

Gov. Steve Beshear briefed reporters today on what Kentuckians can expect when they shop for insurance on kynect, the state’s health benefits marketplace.

“For one out of every six Kentuckians, health insurance has been out of reach – too expensive, too cumbersome, or too confusing.  The good news is that’s changing, thanks to kynect,” said Gov. Beshear.  “Not only will kynect be easy to use, it’s the only place you can go to find out your income-based insurance discount. Through kynect, affordable health insurance is finally a reality.”

Kentucky has more than 640,000 uninsured citizens, which is about 15 percent of the state’s population.  Approximately 308,000 will qualify for Medicaid. The remaining 332,000 can choose among state-approved insurance plans, and can compare monthly premiums and other costs like co-pays. Thanks to new requirements through the Affordable Care Act, no one can be denied coverage for any reason, even pre-existing conditions.

Kynect discounts will substantially lower costs

Individuals seeking health insurance through kynect will provide their age, home address, tobacco use and household income to find quality, affordable health insurance plans.

Household income alone determines the amount of the kynect discount. An individual earning up to $45,960 a year will qualify for a discount; a family of four earning up to $94,200 will also receive a discount.

Individuals can decide among several health plan options with differing monthly premiums.  Keeping monthly premium costs low generally means slightly higher out-of-pocket costs (such as co-pays when visiting the doctor); likewise, a comparatively higher monthly premium usually means lower out-of-pocket costs.

There is no average cost for health insurance through kynect – each individual or family must use kynect (online, toll-free phone number or in-person kynector) to determine the personalized discount and choose the best plan for their needs.

Gov. Beshear provided multiple scenarios of individuals seeking insurance through kynect and their possible costs:

• A 22-year-old single college student earning $20,000 per year could purchase a plan at $51 per month

• A 24-year-old single man with a pre-existing health condition earning $24,000 per year could purchase insurance for $98 per month

• A single 50-year-old man who smokes earning $30,000 per year could purchase a plan for as little as $160 per month

• A mother with two children earning $40,000 per year can buy insurance for as little as $133 per month

• A couple with no children at home, aged 54 and 56, earning $34,000 per year could purchase a plan for $47 per month

• A family of four (adults aged 40 and 44, two children), earning $70,000 per year, could purchase a plan for $403 per month

“There’s been a lot of fear-mongering about costs of health insurance after the Affordable Care Act, but it’s clear that with the kynect discounts, health insurance will be more affordable than ever before to Kentuckians who need it most,” said Gov. Beshear.

New requirements mean better health benefits

Under the Affordable Care Act, states must certify that every health insurance plan offers coverage for a uniform list of medical needs, called “essential health benefits.” In Kentucky, these benefits are more robust than previously required. Every health insurance plan sold in Kentucky now must include coverage for the following:

• Ambulatory patient services (medical care you receive without being admitted to a hospital, such as in a clinic or doctor’s office)

• Emergency services

• Hospitalization

• Maternity and newborn care

• Mental health care, including substance abuse treatment

• Prescription drugs

• Rehabilitative services and devices

• Laboratory services

• Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management (routine physicals, screening, vaccines, etc.)

• Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

Individuals can enroll through kynect beginning Oct. 1. Those who sign up by Dec. 15 will activate their health insurance effective Jan. 1, 2014.  Enrollment will remain open, however, through March 31, 2014.

Visit kynect, Kentucky’s health benefits marketplace, at kynect.com or call toll-free to (855)-459-6328.