Kynect health care exchange returns, open enrollment starts now

Qualified individuals looking for plans with Medicare and Medicaid can now use Kynect to find health insurance.
Updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 3:01 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky’s state-based healthcare exchange is getting a re-vamp. Open enrollment started Friday.

Gov. Andy Beshear talked about Kynect on Friday about what the program means for people still in need of health insurance.

Five years after it was dismantled by then-Gov. Matt Bevin, Kynect is back up and running.

Current Governor Andy Beshear says bringing it back to the state level is a big step, adding that people like Mia Anderson and the so-called Kynectors can again help find Kentuckians health care coverage.

“I’m so happy,” said Mia Anderson, “because it means we are again going to be here for Kentuckians and help them where they are.”

It was actually Beshear’s father, former Gov. Steve Beshear, who started Kynect in 2013 in response to the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Andy Beshear said Friday that the number of uninsured Kentuckians dropped at a faster rate than other states. According to Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, that number dropped from 20 percent to about 10 percent.

Now, at last estimation, Beshear said at least 280,000 Kentuckians lack healthcare, 45,000 of which are children.

“You will see dollars that we proposed that specifically go to extra efforts to sign up these last 45,000 children,” Beshear said.

When Bevin followed through with his campaign promise of getting rid of Kynect in 2016, he argued it added “no value.” He said Kentuckians could get the same benefits through the federal exchange program.

United States Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra argued that’s just not the case.

“(Kynect) can be catered to fit the needs of that particular community,” Becerra said. “In the state of Kentucky, I don’t think anyone in Washington, D.C., knows more about the state of Kentucky and the people better than the governor.”

Open enrollment for Kynect goes until Dec. 1.

It’s also the only chance for people already enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare federally to switch to the state-based exchange.

You can find Kynect sign-up here.

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