More Kentuckians Are Getting Health Insurance Through Their Jobs, Poll Finds

Feb 12, 2015

The rate of uninsured Kentuckians has dropped—and the number of people with employer-sponsored coverage continues to rise, according to a new poll released Thursday.

Fifty percent of Kentucky adults are insured through their employer or their spouse’s employer, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll found.

In 2012, 37 percent of adults had coverage through an employer or a spouse’s employer.

The poll also shows that 29 percent of Kentucky adults have some type of public health insurance and and 9 percent have some other type of insurance.

The current uninsured rate is 12 percent; in 2013 it was 33 percent.

The Kentucky Health Issues Poll suggested that Kynect, Kentucky’s state-based health insurance exchange, was the reason for the drop in the uninsured rate.

Last year, more than 521,000 pepole enrolled in Kynect.

“There was a lot of demand,” Carrie Banahan, executive director of Kynect. “There was a lot of interest—people learned for the first time that they were eligible for health insurance coverage.”

Uninsured rates for individuals and families living at or below the federal poverty line also declined.

Only 12 percent of Kentucky adults living at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty limit—people earning as much as $11,490 for an individual and $32,499 for a family of four—reported being uninsured.

In 2013, 34 percent of people living at or below 138 percent of the FPL were uninsured.

With open enrollment ending Sunday, Kynect is targeting individuals who may be unaware that they are eligible for a subsidy to help pay the cost of health insurance, Banahan said.

The poll was funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health, formerly the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati.

The poll was conducted between Oct.  8 and Nov. 6. Researchers from the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati interviewed 1,597 adults throughout Kentucky by telephone.