Uninsured rate has dropped 11.4 percent since beginning of 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2015) — Since the beginning of 2014 when federal health reform took effect, Kentucky has had the second biggest change in the number of uninsured residents, according to a Gallup poll.
In the first half of 2015, Kentucky’s uninsured rate was 9 percent, down from 20.4 percent at the end of 2013. The difference of 11.4 percent is second only to Alabama, which dropped from 22.5 percent to 9.1 percent, a change of 13.4 percent.
“For the third time in a year, Gallup has cited Kentucky as a national leader among states experiencing the sharpest decline in the rate of the uninsured,” Gov. Steve Beshear, who chose to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. “By a small measure, only Arkansas has outpaced Kentucky’s progress since the Affordable Care Act took effect Jan. 1, 2014.”
Kentucky’s program, kynect, has also been cited as one of the most successful programs in the country in getting residents insureds.
“Not surprisingly, Gallup found seven of the 10 states with the greatest reduction in the uninsured have followed the same path as Kentucky by expanding Medicaid and establishing a state-based exchange,” Beshear said. “Our newly insured Kentuckians are not waiting until they are sick to access their health care benefits. They are using their coverage to seek recommended preventive health services, such as lifesaving breast and colorectal cancer screenings. Over time, this increased utilization of preventive health services will help improve the overall health of our citizens and our state.”
“This most recent Gallup study once again provides unbiased confirmation that Kentucky is on the path to make transformational changes in the lives and health of our commonwealth and our more than 500,000 Kentuckians who have qualified for health care coverage through kynect since Jan. 1, 2014,” he said.