Health-care leaders urge Kentuckians to act now to secure ‘life-changing’ insurance coverage before it’s too late; help available

By Dr. Lori Caloia, Dr. Jason Smith and Dr. James Frazier

Access to health-care services, doctors, vaccines, medications, therapies and guidance can have life-changing consequences. Health-care coverage is not a “nice to have.” It’s a must-have. And it’s available for Kentuckians of all ages. And for those enrolled in Medicaid, action is required to stay covered.

During the pandemic, the federal government enacted a Public Health Emergency, which meant that individuals covered by Medicaid were allowed to stay in the program regardless of whether their eligibility had changed. This was to prevent coverage gaps during the health crisis. But renewals have now restarted, and people covered by Medicaid must act to keep coverage or find a new health plan.

Action must be taken to ensure coverage

Medicaid renewals in Kentucky began again last April, and 1.6 million Kentuckians – 37% of our state’s population – are being asked to show their eligibility for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Acting now is critical. Many people are unaware that their coverage may be ending, or may have already ended. Data from Kentucky and across the country shows that millions have lost Medicaid coverage but have not transitioned to other health insurance plans through an employer or Kynect, Kentucky’s state Health Benefit Exchange. Of course, going without health insurance is dangerous medically and financially, and it’s unnecessary when Affordable Care Act plans are available for as little as $0.

Take steps now to make sure you have coverage. Even if you’re not enrolled in Medicaid, affordable health insurance for you and your family is available.

What to know about renewing and enrolling in health-care coverage

Many resources have been made available to help Americans understand and take advantage of options to stay covered. In fact, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky both offer tools and resources to help people easily understand their options and access the coverage that meets their needs. Anthem offers, a self-service tool allowing anyone to answer a few, simple questions, and get information that helps them understand the types of health coverage they may be eligible for. The tool then provides clear steps on how to access that coverage. Anthem also offers a dedicated call center for those who have questions about navigating the Medicaid renewal process. Call 1-855-690-7784 (TTY 711), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, at, is full of information, resources, agents, and health coverage guides called Kynectors who can answer questions and help you understand your coverage options. is another warehouse of information, quick start guides as well as connections to healthcare navigators and brokers in each community.

Affordable, accessible coverage is available for people of all ages and most circumstances. It just takes action to secure that coverage. That’s why Anthem is urging Kentuckians to start the new year by spending time following up on where they, their loved ones, and acquaintances stand with their healthcare coverage. If help is needed, take advantage of the resources that are available. Taking just a few minutes could make a life-changing difference.

Dr. Lori Caloia is the medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky. Dr. James Frazier is chief medical officer at Norton Healthcare. Dr. Jason Smith is chief medical officer at University of Louisville Health and p rofessor at the University of Louisville.

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