As deadline approaches to sign up for health care, Ky. numbers increase

mmeehan1@herald-leader.comMarch 31, 2014 

While glitches still plague the national effort, Kentucky is operating smoothly, signing up at least 12,000 people for health insurance in the last days leading up to Monday's midnight deadline to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The KyNect call center will be open until 11 p.m. Monday to help last-minute enrollees, said Gwenda Bond, spokeswoman for Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Also Kentucky is allowing people who begin an application online before midnight but run into technical problems to have until April 15 to complete the form.

Also those who completed the form by the midnight deadline will have until April 15 to pick a plan.

As of Monday morning about 353,000 of the state's 640,000 previously uninsured have obtained coverage since enrollment began Oct. 1. About 9,000 signed up over the weekend. Another 3,000 signed up between 9 a.m. and noon on Monday.

Here are some basics about the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky.

■ For more information or to enroll call 1-855-459-6328 or go to Kynect.ky.gov.

■ KyNect was created by the state as part of the Affordable Care Act. Under the act, every American needs to obtain health coverage or pay a penalty.

■ Thirty-six states using the national website, HealthCare.Gov, which has suffered from technical problems, to sign up people for health insurance. Kentucky operates it's own program centered at Kynect.ky.gov.

■ Life events including birth, death, divorce or marriage that affects a person's ability to get health insurance will qualify people to sign up for private insurance through KyNect after the deadline.

■ People who are eligible for Medicaid can continue to sign up for that program after the March 31 deadline.

■ The next open enrollment period is from Nov. 15, 2014 to Jan. 15, 2015.

Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: BluegrassMoms.com

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