Monday, Dec. 23 was the latest deadline for signing up through the Kynect exchange for coverage that will begin Jan. 1. Those in the process on Dec. 23 could complete the application on Dec. 24. The deadline to enroll, and avoid a federal penalty unless exempted, is March 31.
In the last week or so, enrollment in private insurance plans rose again. Since Thanksgiving week, enrollments in private plans have increased 121 percent. Forty percent of the enrollees in Medicaid or qualified health plans are under 35 years old. The new health-insurance system needs strong enrollment by the young to work effectively, as The Washington Post reminded us in a story about efforts to sign up the “young invincibles.”
The Kentucky exchange said in a news release Dec. 23 that through 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, about 518,000 people had conducted preliminary screenings to determine qualifications for subsidies, discounts or programs like Medicaid, and 100,096 Kentuckians are now enrolled in new health coverage, including Medicaid and private insurance – an 18.5 percent increase over the previous week. Medicaid has enrolled 74,054 and private health plans have enrolled 26,042. Another 10,000 or so had been found eligible for a subsidy to purchase a private plan, but had not chosen a plan.
The exchange said 8,437 people had enrolled in dental plans and 1,232 small businesses had started applications for employee coverage; 500 of those businesses had completed applications and become eligible to offer coverage to employees. More information and updated statistics are available at http://governor.ky.gov/healthierky.