Kentucky Governor Urges Sign-Ups for Quality Health Plans

Gov. Beshear: Sign-Ups Open on State-Based Marketplace for Quality Health Plans

FRANKFORT, KY (STL.News) Gov. Andy Beshear is reminding Kentuckians that the health coverage annual enrollment period opens today, Nov. 1, providing citizens of the commonwealth the opportunity to sign up for commercial plan coverage that begins in 2022.

In addition, Kentuckians have a new place for enrolling: kynect.ky.gov.

“Starting today, Kentucky families can go online and shop and save on quality health care coverage,” Gov. Beshear said. “Health care is a basic human right, and the healthier we all are, the better spot we are in to build a better Kentucky and further boost our booming economy.”

Enrollments received through Dec. 15, 2021, will qualify for coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2022.  For Kentuckians who enroll between Dec. 16, 2021, and Jan. 15, 2022, coverage will start Feb. 1, 2022.  Enrollment in a commercial plan will remain open on kynect.ky.gov through Jan. 15, 2022.

The commonwealth’s state-based marketplace, kynect, opened Oct. 15 for Kentuckians to browse and compare plans.  In just the past few days, hundreds of Kentuckians have visited the portal, allowing them to research plan options and get ready for enrollment.  The site also offers information about other benefits and resources, such as child care, elder care, food benefits, help with utilities, transportation, job training and veterans’ benefits.

Since Oct. 15, portal visitors have seen plan information from two new health insurers that offer coverage in select counties: Ambetter from WellCare of Kentucky and Passport Health Plan by Molina.  Plans also are available from Anthem and CareSource.  Portal visitors also can access information about a vision plan from VSP that will be offered in 2022 through kynect.ky.gov.

Kentuckians currently enrolled in Medicaid can switch their Managed Care Organization on the portal through Dec. 1. Kentuckians who are eligible for Medicare health or prescription drug benefits can enroll on the medicare.gov site.

According to Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander, two questions about the open enrollment period frequently pop up.

“We hear from single parents that every dollar counts.  Parents ask how to find affordable health insurance,” Friedlander said.  “The answer is that Kentucky, like every state, offers free or low-cost health insurance to qualifying children under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, called KCHIP in our commonwealth. You can go to kynect.ky.gov to check to see if your child is eligible.  Depending on your income level, you may also qualify for Medicaid. If you’re not eligible for Medicaid or KCHIP, you still might qualify for tax credits.”

The other commonly asked question, Friedlander said, is how to choose among several different plans.  Keying in your zip code on the kynect.ky.gov portal displays what plans are available and provides details needed to help make a choice.

“Make sure your provider and preferred hospital are in-network for cost-savings.  Pay attention to distance between you and any specialists you may see.  Take a look not just at the monthly premium, if you’ll have one, but also, at any deductibles or out-of-pocket costs,” Friedlander said.

Get help choosing a plan

  • Health coverage assistance (Medicaid, Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program, Qualified Health Plan with payment assistance): https://kynect.ky.gov/benefits/
  • kynectors, insurance agents and authorized representatives: https://kynect.ky.gov/benefits/s/auth-reps-assisters/
    State Health Insurance Assistance Program: https://www.shiphelp.org/
  • Kentucky Department of Insurance: https://insurance.ky.gov/ppc/new_default.aspx
  • SHOP plans: https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/choose-and-enroll/qualify-for-shop-marketplace/
  • Consumer Guide to Insurance for Young Adults:
  • https://insurance.ky.gov/ppc/Documents/consguideinsforyoungadults0071417.pdf

Exceptions for enrollment

Special Enrollment Periods are available to consumers looking for commercial coverage who experience a life event, including getting married, having a baby or moving, without having to wait for the open enrollment period.  New Medicaid beneficiaries may enroll in Medicaid at any time.  Open enrollment is the only chance for beneficiaries already receiving Medicaid to switch plan providers.

Kentuckians who are about to turn 65 and qualify for Medicare may enroll outside of Medicare’s annual election period: each year, Oct. 15 – Dec. 7.  The initial Medicare enrollment window spans seven months around the beneficiary’s 65th birthday, beginning three months before the month of your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday, and ending three months after it.

kynect relaunched
On Oct. 4, the Governor took another major step forward in his commitment to providing quality health care to Kentuckians and announced that kynect, the state-based health insurance exchange, would reopen Nov. 1, 2021, to provide Kentuckians easier access to health coverage and other benefits.  The move was approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.