Whitesburg KY

Kynect drawing steady interest

Open enrollment through kynect, the state’s health benefit exchange, began earlier this month and continues to see interest from Kentuckians.

Those who need health insurance are encouraged by state officials to log on or contact an insurance agent or kynector through February 15 to see their options for health coverage in 2015.

“Kentucky is the handsdown national leader in helping people access af- fordable health care. Our exchange, kynect, is the gold standard for ease of use and convenience. Today Kentuckians began to review their options and apply for health coverage in 2015,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement. “We encourage everyone — those who bought health plans on the exchange last year and those who may not have — to go shop again to ensure you find the best plan for your family.”

The first week of kynect’s second annual open enrollment period showed strong interest, as reflected by statistics released November 21:

· 72,335 unique visitors to the kynect website viewing 2.1 million pages;

· 45,412 individuals have conducted preliminary screenings;

· 26,967 calls have been handled by the kynect contact center;

· 4,180 new accounts have been created;

· 6,471 new applications have been submitted;

· 8,727 have made changes to existing applications;

· 1,985 people have downloaded the new kynect app;

· 4,107 individuals have newly enrolled or renewed their enrollment in a qualifi ed health plan;

· 815 individuals have enrolled in dental plans; and

· More than 1800 individuals have visited the new kynect store at Fayette Mall in Lexington; 522 have completed applications for new coverage.

Letters to the approximately 80,000 individuals who purchased qualified health plans during kynect’s first open enrollment period were also mailed this week, detailing new premium and subsidy amounts. Individuals will be automatically enrolled in the same plans as last year, but officials said they encourage all Kentuckians to comparison shop to ensure they pick the best plan at the best price for themselves or their families.

Kentucky was hailed as a national leader last year when more than 521,000 Kentuckians enrolled in health care coverage through kynect. Three out of every four enrollees reported that they had no health insurance prior to signing up through kynect.

A Gallup poll this summer reported that thanks to kynect, Kentucky had the second-highest reduction of uninsured people in the country, falling from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 11.9 percent midway through 2014.

According to a state-issued news release, among improvements to kynect this year are:

· enhancements at kynect. ky.gov to make seeing your costs and options and enrolling even easier;

· a kynect mobile app for Android and Apple devices that can give you a preliminary estimate and guide Kentuckians to help or enrollment events in their area;

· additional call center staff and capacity; and

· a full-service enrollment retail storefront at the Fayette Mall in Lexington.

“We made tremendous headway last year, but we still have thousands of Kentuckians who need insurance for themselves and for their families,” Carrie Banahan, executive director of kynect, said in the release. “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.”

Visit https:// kynect. ky.gov or call 1-855-4kynect (459-6328) to learn more about affordable health care options for Kentuckians.

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