Thursday, January 29, 2015

yonts d 300KENTUCKY (1/5/14) - The state’s 14-year-old high-risk insurance pool—called Kentucky Access—closed its doors on Dec. 31 to make way for mandatory health insurance coverage effective Jan. 1 under the federal Affordable Care Act. But there is still time for those who were covered by Kentucky Access to get insured.

That is because open enrollment through “kynect”--the state’s new health insurance exchange-- will continue through March 31, 2014, according to the Kentucky Access web site. (Individuals who needed coverage by Jan. 1, through kynect or directly through an insurer, were instructed by Kentucky Access to enroll no later than Dec. 15.) That gives individuals without employer-sponsored coverage or Medicare a few more months to compare their options by going to the kynect web site at kynect.ky.gov, or by calling kynect toll-free at 1-855-4kynect (1-855-459-6328).

One thing is absolutely certain: individuals with high-cost medical conditions for whom Kentucky Access was designed should not let their coverage lapse. Continuity of care through Kentucky Access will only be approved under limited circumstances, and for a very limited time, so everyone must find new coverage.

That is where kynect comes in. The highly-praised kynect site will help individuals determine if they are eligible for discounted private insurance or Medicaid. It will help folks choose a plan that works for them and their family.

Let’s step back for a moment and look at what precipitated these changes. Kentucky Access’ closure was expedited by the ACA, widely known as Obamacare, which requires insurers to enroll individuals regardless of their health status. The mandate did away with the need for Kentucky Access’ guaranteed individual coverage, approved by the 2000 Kentucky General Assembly with the passage of House Bill 517.

I supported the creation of Kentucky Access in 2000 as part of a bipartisan push to help citizens obtain insurance coverage that they would otherwise not be able to get. It was the only health insurance option for hundreds of seriously-ill Kentuckians at a time when private insurers were leaving the state’s individual market in droves. And it was well-funded with client premiums, assessments on insurers, and $230 million in state tobacco settlement dollars since opening for business in 2001.

According to the Kentucky Department of Insurance, the program had 4,800 Kentuckians insured near its peak.

Essentially, the program’s creation was the result of industry and government coming together to address the problem of insurance inaccessibility. It was a new idea for Kentucky made possible by necessity and political will. And it worked well.

Now, that availability of otherwise unaffordable and inaccessible coverage is continuing under the ACA, which will provide coverage for thousands who were previously uninsured, including those with or without high-cost conditions. While many are “holding their breath” about the outcome of the ACA I am sure folks who need coverage and didn’t have it before are hoping for the best.

This week signals the beginning of the 2014 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly—a 60 legislative-day session that will lead to the passage of a state budget for the next two years and tackling of some other major policy issues. We will get into more of that in my next column.

Stay warm, and stay informed of what’s happening in your Kentucky General Assembly over the next several weeks. And, as always, have a great week ahead.
 
Please share your ideas with me by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also send me a letter addressed to: Rep. Brent Yonts, Capitol Annex, Rm. 366 A, 702 Capitol Ave., Frankfort KY 40601.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

River Metals Recycling Earns SHARP Status for Excellence in Safety and Health

OWENSBORO, Ky. (1/29/15) — Kentucky Labor Cabinet Deputy Secretary Rocky Comito today presented River Metals Recycling… Read More

Apollo Edges Christian County, 79-77

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (1/28/15) — Junior guard Eli Wright poured in a game-high 31 points to lead Apollo over host… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 16262

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 23, 2015 9906

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 6838

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 25, 2015 6706

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 23, 2015 6085

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 28, 2015 5904

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 23, 2015 4872

Nortonville Woman Charged for Meth Possession

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 4551

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 21751

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 21470

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 28, 2015 16262

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 5904

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 28, 2015 3808

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 2783

Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 2581

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 28, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 27, 2015 2402

Whitfield Works to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

in General News For All Sites by Marty Irby
January 29, 2015 2217

UPDATE - Students Have until Jan. 31 to Enter…

in General News For All Sites by James R. Comer
January 28, 2015 2128

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 1852

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
January 28, 2015 1366

Old City Hall Space to be 'First United Bank…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 1360

Letter to the Editor - Month of Mentors

in Hopkins News by Mallory D. Johnson
January 28, 2015 1352

Kentucky Lottery Results for Tuesday Jan. 27, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Kentucky Lottery