How to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Affordable Care Act is rolling out Tuesday and, before registration even began, people were already calling the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency with questions.
The agency, called KIPDA, is responsible for helping people in the Louisville area sign up on the health insurance marketplace.
"It's new, it's new to everyone in this country, not just in Kentucky, not just in Louisville," said Barbara Gordon, the organization's director of social services.
Kentuckians will be able to choose between five insurance providers: Humana, Aetna, Anthem, United, and Kentucky Health Cooperative.
Plan offerings will include bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Bronze coverage includes the lowest premiums and highest cost of care, while platinum features higher premiums but lower out-of-pocket costs.
Kentucky has released some cost information, although the exact costs to each person are only available once people submit applications.
If an employer already sponsors a person's plan, they don't have to give it up in favor of the new marketplace, Gordon said.
Anybody can go in and check it out and see what they qualify for but, if you have credible insurance, you're probably best staying with your employer's insurance," she said.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, people can visit the Kentucky website to shop for plans.
In Indiana, the health insurance marketplace is run through the federal government and its website is healthcare.gov.
In Kentucky, the website to sign up is Kynect.ky.gov. Agents, called Kynecters, will also be out in the community trying to enroll some 640,000 uninsured Kentuckians who do not have online access or simply need help.
"Say you're at home," said Gordon, "you're at your computer, you are going through the self-service portal and you run into a snag. You're just not really getting it, something is wrong, I need more information, you can actually call somebody at that point."
People will be able to call reach a Kynect agent toll-free at 888-737-3363.
"We're going to provide a lot of outreach," said Gordon. "The Kynecters are going to be in the community, working with organizations, partner groups, churches."
Although the Kynect representatives cannot make health insurance choices on behalf of clients, Gordon said they can provide unbiased information and help to navigate the process.
If necessary, citizens can have a trained professional come to their home and fill out the form for them.
"If you want that personalized assistance, then this is where you should call because that's our goal, that's our purpose to meet people where they are and to help them," Gordon said.