health insurance http://wkyufm.org en WKU Likely to Announce Proposed Changes to Employee Health Plans by End of August http://wkyufm.org/post/wku-likely-announce-proposed-changes-employee-health-plans-end-august <p></p><p>WKU is beginning to prepare its employees for likely changes to the school’s health plan. At a forum Wednesday afternoon, representatives from the school’s Human Resources Department told workers that WKU’s self-funded model is coming under significant strain.</p><p>The school says it saw a 13.3 percent increase in medical expenses in 2013 compared to the previous year, with expenses exceeding revenue by more than $2 million.</p><p>WKU is predicting that unless changes are made, the school’s health plan expenses could increase by 8 to 10 percent in 2015.</p><p>No definitive announcement was made, however, about whether employee premiums or deductibles will be increasing. Speaking to WKU Public Radio after the forum, Assistant Director of Human Resources Kari Aikins described the school’s timeline for announcing any changes.</p><p>“We’re going to continue to evaluate and model these options financially over the next month, month-and-a-half, and then start making some formalized recommendations to our leadership and President--through our benefits committee--and hopefully have something set in stone by the end of August,” Aikens said. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 21:48:47 +0000 Kevin Willis 51182 at http://wkyufm.org WKU Likely to Announce Proposed Changes to Employee Health Plans by End of August Report: Kentucky Ranks 10th Lowest for Uninsured http://wkyufm.org/post/report-kentucky-ranks-10th-lowest-uninsured <p></p><p>A new report finds &nbsp;that Kentucky’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act has dramatically reduced the number of uninsured people in the state.</p><p>The report, released Wednesday by the personal finance website WalletHub, finds that Kentucky now ranks 10th in the nation for the lowest number of uninsured individuals, at just under nine percent of the population. That number was over 17 percent before the ACA became law, reflecting an 8 percent drop in the rate in one year’s time.</p><p>It also found that about 30 percent of Kentuckians under 65 are enrolled in Medicaid.</p><p>Nearly 83,000 Kentuckians have enrolled in new private health insurance plans, and 265,000 have enrolled in &nbsp;Medicaid as of April 2014. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 19:57:28 +0000 Jonathan Meador 50795 at http://wkyufm.org Report: Kentucky Ranks 10th Lowest for Uninsured Obamacare Sign-Ups Show Wide Variation By State, Ethnicity http://wkyufm.org/post/obamacare-sign-ups-show-wide-variation-state-ethnicity New numbers and demographic information <a href="http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2014/MarketPlaceEnrollment/Apr2014/ib_2014Apr_enrollment.pdf">released</a> by the White House Thursday reveal some telling details about the <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/04/17/president-obama-8-million-people-have-signed-private-health-coverage">8 million people</a> who selected new health insurance through HealthCare.gov and state marketplaces.<p>Almost half — 3.8 million — of all of the people who signed up did so in the last six weeks, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Fri, 02 May 2014 11:10:00 +0000 Eric Whitney 47450 at http://wkyufm.org Obamacare Sign-Ups Show Wide Variation By State, Ethnicity Kentucky Health Commissioner Pleased with Insurance Sign-Ups by Young Invincibles http://wkyufm.org/post/kentucky-health-commissioner-pleased-insurance-sign-ups-young-invincibles <p></p><p>Kentucky’s public health commissioner is encouraged by the number of young adults who enrolled in health insurance on Kynect, the state’s online health exchange.&nbsp;</p><p>Fifty percent of new enrollees were under the age of 35, which Dr. Stephanie Mayfield says should mean cost savings.</p><p>"You would think this would be a healthier population who would be accessing the system for preventive measures and not as many chronic diseases," explained Mayfield.&nbsp; "It's an opportunity to intervene in the still relatively early years and have less of a financial impact on the system."</p><p>Dr. Mayfield spoke Tuesday at WKU about Kentucky’s health challenges.&nbsp;</p><p>The state has several initiatives underway that include reducing the rates of smoking, obesity, and cancer deaths, all by 2019. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:44:11 +0000 Lisa Autry 46343 at http://wkyufm.org Kentucky Health Commissioner Pleased with Insurance Sign-Ups by Young Invincibles Stumbo: GOP Efforts to Defund ACA Won't Prevent Program from Moving Forward in Kentucky http://wkyufm.org/post/stumbo-gop-efforts-defund-aca-wont-prevent-program-moving-forward-kentucky <p></p><p>Kentucky’s highest-ranking Democratic lawmaker says language in the state’s budget that attempts to pull funding for the Affordable Care Act won’t kill the program.</p><p>Kentucky is set to begin paying a portion of the cost for expanded Medicaid and the health-insurance exchange in 2017. Provisions in the recently-passed state budget bar state money from going toward the program.</p><p>But House Speaker Greg Stumbo says it's largely symbolic.</p><p>“We know that that would have been probably something that we’d still been there debating, and so after reviewing the language and reviewing the governor’s implementation of what we call ‘Beshear Care,’ we didn’t feel like that this language would be egregious to the governor in moving forward.”</p><p>The governor’s office spearheaded Kentucky’s implementation of the ACA, but has declined to comment on the budget language. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:55:04 +0000 Jonathan Meador 45969 at http://wkyufm.org Stumbo: GOP Efforts to Defund ACA Won't Prevent Program from Moving Forward in Kentucky Final Sign-Up Day is Here for Kentucky's Health Exchange http://wkyufm.org/post/final-sign-day-here-kentuckys-health-exchange <p>Today marks an important deadline for the thousands of Kentuckians still without health insurance.&nbsp; It’s the last day until November to sign up for Medicaid or private insurance on the state’s health exchange known as Kynect.&nbsp;</p><p>Gwenda Bond in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services says there will be some exceptions for qualifying events.</p><p>"If people lose their health insurance coverage for some reason, a job loss or change, a marriage or divorce, then they'll be able to sign up and apply for subsidies," says Gwenda Bond in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.&nbsp; "In addition to that, people will be able to sign up for Medicaid after the 31st."</p><p>Small businesses may also enroll in coverage at any time.&nbsp;</p><p>Over the weekend, the state increased personnel and extended hours at the Kynect call center to accommodate a last-minute surge of enrollments.&nbsp;</p><p>As of Friday afternoon, more than 350,000 Kentuckians had enrolled in coverage on the health exchange. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Lisa Autry 45796 at http://wkyufm.org Final Sign-Up Day is Here for Kentucky's Health Exchange Obamacare's National Enrollment Looks OK, But States Matter More http://wkyufm.org/post/obamacares-national-enrollment-looks-ok-states-matter-more With this year's deadline to register for individual health insurance just a weekend away, much attention is being lavished on two numbers — the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/27/295311611/obamacare-enrollment-exceeds-6-million">6 million Americans</a> who have signed up so far, and the percentage of those folks who are (or aren't) young.<p>But experts say the<em> national</em> numbers actually don't mean very much.<p>"These are really state-based markets," says Caroline Pearson, vice president at <a href="http://avalerehealth.net/">Avalere Health</a>, a consulting firm b Fri, 28 Mar 2014 07:27:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 45763 at http://wkyufm.org Obamacare's National Enrollment Looks OK, But States Matter More With Enrollment Deadline Looming, 'Kynectors' Reach Out to Uninsured http://wkyufm.org/post/enrollment-deadline-looming-kynectors-reach-out-uninsured <p>Just over a week from now is the deadline for Kentucky’s uninsured to get coverage through the state’s health care exchange known as Kynect.&nbsp; The state is working to reach as much of the uninsured population as possible.</p><p>On Saturday, several Bowling Green residents turned out for a sign-up event at the Greenwood Mall.&nbsp; Among them was 32-year-old Jason Abney who was frustrated trying to navigate the website on his own.</p><p>"I didn't know exactly which website to go to because when you pull up Kynect on the Internet, it goes to three or four pages at a time, and it was just a hassle," remarked Abney.</p><p>Abney has been without health insurance the past year-and-a-half.&nbsp; He lost coverage when he left his job at a Bowling Green manufacturing plant.&nbsp;</p><p>“I used to have insurance when I worked for Magna and it was pretty good insurance.&nbsp; I had a car wreck and they paid a bunch of hospital bills, so it pays to have insurance," he added.</p><p>Abney got assistance from Sandra Lindsey with Community Action of Southern Kentucky.&nbsp; She’s a ‘Kynector,’ someone who’s been trained by state officials to help the public navigate Kentucky’s health care exchange. Sat, 22 Mar 2014 21:32:53 +0000 Lisa Autry 45491 at http://wkyufm.org With Enrollment Deadline Looming, 'Kynectors' Reach Out to Uninsured Young People Are Falling Into A Health Insurance Subsidy Gap http://wkyufm.org/post/young-people-are-falling-health-insurance-subsidy-gap Some young people seeking to buy health insurance are finding themselves falling into a subsidy gap that leaves them ineligible for financial assistance that was heavily advertised.<p>Subsidies in the health law were designed to lower insurance costs for people who make around $11,000 to $46,000 a year.<p>But for young people earning toward the higher end of that range, it's more complicated than that. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 21:00:00 +0000 Elana Gordon 45281 at http://wkyufm.org Young People Are Falling Into A Health Insurance Subsidy Gap With Deadline Approaching, Nearly 300,000 Kentuckians Have Signed Up for Health Insurance http://wkyufm.org/post/deadline-approaching-nearly-300000-kentuckians-have-signed-health-insurance <p></p><p>The vast majority of Kentucky's health benefit exchange enrollees are signing up for coverage under Medicaid.</p><p>Numbers released Thursday by the state show 80 percent of those who have signed up for medical coverage through Kentucky's benefit exchange have done so through the expanded Medicaid program. The remaining 20 percent will get coverage through private insurance companies.</p><p>Kentucky has enrolled nearly 300,000 people so far in its health exchange, known as Kynect. Deputy Executive Director Bill Nold says officials are pleased with the number of young Kentuckians who have signed up through the exchange.</p><p>"If you look at our total enrollment, about 48 percent are under the age of 35," Nold said.</p><p>Health exchange operators throughout the nation have been concerned that not enough younger, healthier people would sign up for coverage before the March 31 deadline.</p><p>Those younger customers are needed to subsidize health care for older and less healthy individuals.</p><p><strong>Sign Up Saturday</strong></p><p>To avoid a tax penalty in 2015, people must have signed up for insurance by the end of March, or at least be insured for nine months of the year. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 19:14:28 +0000 Kevin Willis 45036 at http://wkyufm.org With Deadline Approaching, Nearly 300,000 Kentuckians Have Signed Up for Health Insurance