COBRA participants, individuals with early renewals, foster children turning 18 among eligible
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 20, 2014)– Although the next kynect open enrollment does not begin until Nov. 15, several groups of Kentuckians are eligible for a special enrollment opportunity through kynect. These groups include COBRA participants and some individuals purchasing coverage in the individual market. Eligible individuals, including foster children aging out of the foster care system, can also apply for Medicaid at any time using kynect.
“It is important for people to know that if they lose coverage during the year or have other special circumstances that apply to their situation, they may be eligible to apply through kynect outside the open enrollment period,” said Carrie Banahan, executive director of kynect. “We encourage those with questions to visit the website to apply, or contact a kynector or agent who can give them additional information and assistance.”
The federal Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that states could allow a number of populations to continue enrollment for an extended period, because of hardships or specific circumstances that may have prevented them from taking advantage of the open enrollment period. The special enrollment will allow individuals to apply for subsidies and select a qualified health plan (QHP) under certain circumstances.
Among those who are eligible for the special kynect open enrollment period are:
- COBRA-related: Individuals eligible for or enrolled in COBRA or whose COBRA coverage is exhausted may apply for coverage through kynect. Because of concerns about the possibility that COBRA notices did not make newly available health coverage options through the Affordable Care Act clear, a special enrollment period for these individuals is open through July 1.
- Individual market plans renewing outside open enrollment: If individuals purchase coverage in the individual market, they will have the option to apply and select a qualified health plan up to 60 days before their insurance carrier notifies them they have to renew their policy or let it lapse (in order to arrange coverage through kynect beginning on the first of the month after their previous policy expires) or up to 60 days after the renewal date has passed for their previous policy.
- AmeriCorps/VISTA/National Civilian Community Corps Members (NCCC): Individuals who are beginning service in AmeriCorps state and national, VISTA or NCCC programs or who are concluding their service in these programs and losing short-term limited duration or self-funded coverage are now eligible to apply for 60 days from either the date they begin service or lose access to other coverage.
In addition to these special enrollment periods, the ACA also provides coverage for children aging out of the foster system:
- Foster children who were in care at age 18 will now qualify for continuous Medicaid coverage until age 26, regardless of income or the state in which the individual was in foster care.
Individuals who have a qualifying event such as marriage or job loss leading to loss of health coverage may also qualify to apply for subsidies and enroll in a qualified health plan through kynect outside the open enrollment period.
For information on kynect, visit kynect.ky.gov.