Kynect policyholders get premium notices, are urged to check website to see if a better deal is available

The 80,000-plus Kentuckians who bought private health insurance during the first open enrollment period under the federal health-reform law are getting letters notifying them of their new premium and subsidy amounts. Most policies will cost more, and the overall average increase is expected to be 4.6 percent.

Policyholders will be automatically enrolled in the same plans as last year, but should check the state’s Kynect website to see if a better plan is avaialble. The second enrollment under the law is open through Feb. 15.

Kentuckians are showing “brisk interest” in Kynect coverage, according to a news release from Gov. Steve Beshear’s office. It said that as of 11 a.m. Friday:
• 72,335 unique visitors to the site had viewed 2.1 million web pages;
• 45,412 people had conducted preliminary screenings;
• 4,180 new accounts had been created;
• 6,471 new applications had been submitted;
• 8,727 people had made changes to existing applications; and
• 3,199 people renewed their enrollment in a private health-insurance plan.
• 908 people newly enrolled in a private plan.

The release said more than 1,800 people had visited the new, federally funded Kynect store at Fayette Mall in Lexington, and 522 of them had completed applications for new coverage.

“We made tremendous headway last year, but we still have thousands of Kentuckians who need insurance for themselves and for their families,” said Carrie Banahan, executive director of Kynect. “Not only do we encourage first-time insurance buyers to check out Kynect online, by phone or in person with an insurance agent or Kynector, we are also strongly encouraging those who enrolled last year to check out the plans available for 2015. You could get a bigger subsidy, a lower monthly cost, or more network options if you shop again.”

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