Kentucky is taking measures to handle an expected last-minute surge in applications for health insurance ahead of Monday’s deadline.
The state has added phone operators at the Lexington call center and increased server power on Kynect, the state’s health exchange.
"We've been seeing a tremendous increase in the number of people applying and approved each day," says Gwenda Bond in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. "We've been seeing about 3,100 each day and I suspect that's even higher this week."
According to the state, 350,386 uninsured Kentuckians have enrolled in Medicaid or private coverage as of Friday afternoon.
With a few exceptions, Monday, March 31 is the deadline to enroll in coverage that will take effect this year. The next open enrollment period begins in November for coverage that would take effect in 2015.
When the current enrollment period began last October 1, an estimated 640,000 Kentuckians were uninsured. Governor Steve Beshear told WKU Public Radio this week that he is "astonished" by the number of enrollments so far, and expects it will take two to three years to reach everyone.
"I think long-term you're going to see this grow, expand so hopefully every Kentuckian will finally have access to affordable health coverage," commented Beshear. "We're going to be a much healthier state because of this effort."
For more information, call 1-855-459-6328 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET or go to Kynect.ky.gov.