Kentucky's Health Benefits Exchange Ready for Debut

Sep 30, 2013

After more than a year of preparation, Kentucky is set to begin signing up the uninsured for health coverage Tuesday through an online marketplace. 

The health benefits exchange offers a variety of insurance policies for consumers to compare.  Premiums will range from less than $50 a month for a healthy individual to $700 a month for a family of four.  

“The main thing people need to know is that you can still find some of the same benefits out in the individual health insurance market now," says Gwenda Bond, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.  "You may find plans with even additional things, so we to people who are buying insurance on their own to look both inside and outside the exchange.”

Kentucky has roughly 640,000 uninsured residents.  About half will qualify for Medicaid, and nearly as many will be eligible for subsidies to help pay their premiums. 

A Lexington call center has fielded more than 7,000 calls since opening in mid-August.  You can find the answers to some commonly asked questions by clicking here

Meanwhile, Kentucky will roll out its health insurance exchange Tuesday with or without a government shutdown.

"All of these functions are funded and considered essential services,” adds Bond.

Governor Steve Beshear created the exchange by executive order last year.  Since then, Kentucky has received about $250 million from the federal government for start-up costs.