Enrollment for health insurance surges as state-imposed deadline nears

mmeehan1@herald-leader.comApril 11, 2014 

More than 30,000 Kentucky residents have signed up for health insurance during the state's extended enrollment period.

Gov. Steve Beshear extended the deadline for people to sign up for private insurance under Kentucky's program under the Affordable Care Act until midnight Friday. The original deadline was March 31.

According to statistics released by the governor's office, people were signing up at a rate of 4,500 a day, bringing to the total number enrolled to 402,000. The final tally will be announced next week.

According to state officials, nearly 1 out of every 11 Kentuckians, or 9.3 percent of the state's population, have received insurance under the program as of midday Friday. When open enrollment began Oct. 1, state officials estimated that there were 640,000 uninsured in Kentucky.

People who are eligible for Medicaid can continue to enroll after the deadline. Those who need to pay for private insurance will have to wait until the next enrollment period, scheduled for the fall.

Kentucky is among a handful of states opting to create and manage their own "exchanges," or health care marketplaces. Thirty-six states are enrolling through a federal website, HealthCare.gov.

Altogether, federal officials said, more than 7 million people have signed up for health insurance since enrollment began.

To sign up through midnight April 11, call 1-855-459-6328 or go to KyNect.Ky.Gov.

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

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