Benefits of Affordable Care Act touted for Kentuckians - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky health care exchange experiences glitches on first day

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Whether you love it or hate it, today is a historic day, as every American is able to shop for health insurance on government mandated marketplaces.

In Kentucky, day one experienced some hiccups. The state says over 50,000 people tried to log on to sign up for health care, and the system just couldn't handle the demand.

Kentucky's health care exchange is called Kynect. It's a marketplace where people can shop insurance plans from three different carriers, each offering four different plans.

Colton Cope attended one of many enrollment events across the state Tuesday at Jefferson County Technical College. He's a relatively healthy young man unable to afford health insurance. So even the common cold can be expensive. "If it gets really bad, I'll go to the doctor, but that's like a $500 trip for me even just for antibiotics," he said. But Tuesday marked a new day for Cope. Although skeptical about the Affordable Car Act, he found himself at an enrollment event. "I'm a full time student and I work two jobs, so any help really helps."

The easiest way to get a look at your new healthcare options under the Affordable Care Act is to log on to the Kynect website (kynect.ky.gov). The system will ask you some basic questions including your name and income level. From there you should be able to shop insurance policies, but on the first day, many saw an error message.

"I was trying to verify my basic information and put in a password and the system stopped," said Tamaya Thurman. State officials said the hurdle that Thurman faced was due to an overloaded system. "They told me it's been happening to everybody today because everyone is trying to get on."

State officials said the glitch usually occurred when people went to verify their identity. "When you bring a new system up, you know there are going to be bumps along the road," said Executive Director of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange Carrie Banahan.

State officials said the glitches were fixed by 3 p.m. Tuesday.

"It's not going to be perfect from day one, but I would hope that with the good will of the people in our country and our elected officials, they will come together to make it work because the stakes are too high," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Officials announced that subsidies will be available to individuals making less than $47,000 a year, and families of four making less than $92,000 a year. The higher you are on that scale, the smaller your subsidy will be.

Coverage obtained through the exchange kicks in January 1, 2014.

For more information and to pre-qualify, visit Kynect.ky.gov or call 1 (855) 4 - KYNECT

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