State website helps Kentuckians get health insurance, info

A new government website is aimed at helping Kentuckians wade through the often overwhelming world of health insurance by providing information specific to the new health care law.

The Kentucky Health Insurance Advocate contains information for people who are uninsured, those who are soon to be uninsured, and those interested in private coverage options. It outlines specific information for seniors, children and young adults. It also contains a listing of companies selling individual, private insurance in Kentucky.
The website was compiled by the Kentucky Department of Insurance and has been in operation since the spring. “This is part of a consumer assistance grant we got as part of federal health reform,” said Ronda Sloan, public information officer with the department. “We were trying to put all of the health reform information people would need in one location. … We’re trying to make it really user-friendly.”
Part of of the effort is to get more Kentuckians insured. “And it’s really for education too,” Sloan said. “We’re not trying to tell anybody, ‘This is what you do,’ we’re trying to say, ‘These are your options.’ We’re trying to walk people through the process.”
In addition to perusing the website, people can call toll-free at 877-587-7222 to get more, personalized information. Since the department started advertising the site a few weeks ago, it has received more calls. “A lot of people are saying, ‘I’m uninsured,’ ‘I have a pre-existing condition, what can I do?’, ‘I lost my job, I’m coming off COBRA,’ things like that,” Sloan said. “Insurance is not a simple thing and it’s not something you think about until you need,” she said. “We’re trying to make it a little less complicated and try to ease people’s minds a little.”
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