Americans have until Dec. 15 to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and residents in Kentucky’s Green River area are coming out to enroll in high numbers. One local expert says uncertainty over the future of health care is a big reason why.
Many Americans, and many Kentucky residents, are unsure of what their options are for health insurance because of the national controversy over Obamacare, and some incorrect reports that it has collapsed.
Suzanne Craig is program manager of the Community Access Project for the Green River District Health Department, which serves seven counties, including Daviess, Henderson, and Ohio. Craig says she’s seeing a large number of area residents asking about health care enrollment.
“We hear many of our patients say that it’s going to go away, so they want to see that they qualify for before it goes away.”
Craig says there’s about an equal mix of residents who are signing up for the first time and those who have enrolled under the ACA before.
“We are seeing more than we expected. These enrollments are taking longer because people have more questions.”
The Green River District has seven 'assisters' in different locations to help residents choose a health area plan and sign up during the open enrollment period. In previous years, those 'assisters' were called 'kynecters' or 'navigators'.
Craig says 7,000 people in the Green River district have gotten health insurance since the Affordable Care Act coverage began in 2014.
Statewide, more than 400,000 Kentuckians have gotten coverage under the ACA, which was previously through a state system called kynect. Gov. Matt Bevin ended that system and now Kentucky residents sign up through healthcare-dot-gov
Kentucky residents can also use the state's Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange site to find 'assisters' in their county and information on plans and costs. The Kentucky site links to the federal healthcare.gov