Posted on 2/2/14

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, 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. your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© 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 on social media.

Most Read This Week

November 24, 2015 10211

Distillery to Operate in Old Graham School…

by SurfKY News
November 21, 2015 8895

Injuries Result from Beulah Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
November 23, 2015 7754

Relative Charged with Murder, Arson in Deaths of…

by SurfKY News
November 24, 2015 4854

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 24

by SurfKY News
November 24, 2015 3425

Man Injured When Vehicle Collides with Deer

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

November 17, 2015 16301

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 17

by SurfKY News
November 18, 2015 14580

Runaway Teen Returns on His Own

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

November 27, 2015 2993

Madisonville Man Charged with Attempted Murder…

by SurfKY News
November 28, 2015 2630

Woman Charged with Counterfeit Money Leads to…

by SurfKY News
November 28, 2015 2439

Local Teen Hospitalized after Officer-Involved…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
November 28, 2015 1869

KSP Arrests Ohio Co. Man on Drug Charges

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 1592

First United Bancorp Set to Purchase Town &…

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 1150

Farm City Breakfast Recognizes Importance of…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 1091

Hooked on Science - Pinecone Hygrometer

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 854

Webster County Man Injured in Two-Vehicle Crash

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 665

Governor-Elect Bevin Names Two Key Appointments…

by SurfKY News