Effort to educate the public about Kentucky's health benefit - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Effort to educate the public about Kentucky's health benefit exchange

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Kentucky's governor wants to educate the public about the state's health benefit exchange.

It's called kynect: Kentucky's Healthcare Connection.  Kentucky's Office of the Health Benefit Exchange (KHBE) will run it.  That office was created because a health benefit exchange has to be active in each state by the end of the year. That's a requirement of the Affordable Care Act, often known as Obamacare.

Federal grants provide the money for KHBE right now, but it is designed to be self-sustaining by 2015.  It is expected to help more than 600,000 uninsured Kentuckians receive coverage through private insurance plans, Medicaid, or the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program.

In a news release, Gov. Steve Beshear said, "Individuals, families and small businesses will be able to use kynect for one-stop shopping to find health coverage and determine if they are eligible for payment assistance or tax credits to help cover costs."  People wanting more information can visit www.kynect.ky.gov.

Open enrollment for kynect begins Oct. 1 and runs through March 31 of next year.  Coverage begins as soon as Jan. 1 of next year.  Small business open enrollment also begins Oct. 1, but businesses that employ fewer than 50 employees will be able to enroll employees anytime after that date.

The Affordable Healthcare Act mandates that no one can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition or lose coverage after becoming sick, insurance companies cannot charge women more than men for the same coverage, and children can stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26.

The Affordable Care Act has also come under criticism for its cost and possible fines against people who do not enroll in an insurance plan.  Both of Kentucky's Senators oppose the act, with Sen. Mitch McConnell having called it, "the single worst piece of legislation that's been passed in America in modern times."

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