Tuesday was the inaugural day for Kentucky's Health Benefits Exchange.
The Kynect website went live at 12 a.m. Tuesday, and according to the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, 24,000 people browsed to see what they might be eligible for and over 1,000 applications were processed by 9:30 a.m.
As expected, there have been a some hiccups along the way.
"The high volume of traffic is causing a few technical glitches, but we have an IT command center fully staffed who are working diligently to iron out any issues. People can continue to browse the site, but we encourage any visitors who experience problems to check back later to begin their application process," said Gwenda Bond, a spokeswoman in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
"There will be a message on the site to provide an update as we work to ensure everything is running smoothly. This surge of early applications demonstrates the pent up demand for quality health coverage for many Kentuckians, who will be able to have that coverage beginning January 1, 2014, because of the ACA."
Kentucky's Health Benefits Exchange can be accessed at kynect.ky.gov.
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.
The American Cancer Society is looking for participants in the Warren County region to take part in a national cancer prevention study. The group wants 300 people ages 30 to 65--who have never had a cancer diagnosis--to schedule appointments for the enrollment period of Nov. 20-22.
Those who are interested in participating can follow this link to learn more about what's known as the Cancer Prevention Study 3.
Participants will give a blood sample and have their waists measured, and will fill out a questionnaire about their health history and lifestyle. After that, those involved in the study will report any health changes through either mail or email.
"And from that we hope to learn more about possible links between cancer risks and lifestyle choices that people make, the environment where they live and work, and also even genetics," said Eric Walker, with the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society, Inc., based in Paducah.
Leaders in business, health care and government are assembling in Bowling Green for a summit designed to improve health information technology in Kentucky.
The annual e-Health summit begins Tuesday at the Sloan Convention Center.
Noted speakers include Judy Murphy, deputy of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes.
The event draws hundreds from around the state who come to present ideas and listen to state and national leaders speak about new initiatives in health information technology. It is sponsored by the Governor's Office of Electronic Health Information.