A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

One in every 10 Kentuckians has enrolled
in health care coverage through kynect

More than one in every 10 Kentuckians now has affordable health care – many for the first time, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today. That’s 413,410 Kentuckians who enrolled through the state-run exchange, kynect, in the first open enrollment period that ended March 31.


Another 30,000 individuals signed up for health care coverage during the April 4-11 kynect special enrollment period. More than 11,000 Kentuckians finalized health plan choices by the April 15 deadline, bringing the total of enrolled Kentuckians to over 413,000 – or the approximate combined populations of Lexington, Owensboro and Bowling Green.

At its peak in the final three days of enrollment, kynect processed more than 7,000 applications each day.

“Every single individual who signed up for health insurance through kynect had a driving reason to go to that website or visit a kynector – perhaps they’d never had health insurance before and knew they needed it; they wanted insurance but couldn’t get it because of pre-existing conditions; or they had been priced out of the private options available to them,” said Beshear. “It is deeply satisfying to know that nearly 10 percent of our population finally has affordable, quality health insurance that gives them the assurance that if they get sick or hurt, they’ll get the care they need and they’re not in danger of bankruptcy.”

Surveys of kynect enrollees revealed that about 75 percent of applicants reported that they had no health insurance prior to signing up for kynect.

Kynect has been hailed as a national model since its launch on Oct. 1, 2013, for its continuous smooth operation and easy interface for users looking for affordable health coverage. Since enrollment began last fall, hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians swarmed the website and call center in search of affordable, quality healthcare coverage.

“As the famous line from the movie A Field of Dreams goes, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Well, we built it and they came by the thousands,” said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes. “In fact, Kentuckians were so anxious for the opportunity to finally have the healthcare coverage they need and deserve that the first person was signed up as soon as the site went live. Our kynect staff added more servers to expand capacity and brought on 55 more customer service reps at the contact center to handle call volume. The response has been tremendous and truly exceeded our greatest expectations.”

Midway through its first full day of operation, nearly 60,000 individuals seeking information about affordable health care had visited the kynect website. By day 10 of open enrollment, nearly 10,000 Kentuckians had enrolled in healthcare coverage. In its first full month of operation, more than 32,000 people had enrolled in coverage through kynect, an average of about 1,000 Kentuckians a day.

The final days of enrollment, about 21,000 signed up in the final three days. Now, more than 1 out of every 10 Kentuckians has health insurance through kynect – or 9.6 percent of the state’s population. These figures do not include previously uninsured individuals who may have purchased health insurance outside of kynect.

Some paper applications are still being processed, so the total number of kynect enrollments will likely increase as those are completed.

Fifty-two percent of all kynect enrollees are under the age of 35, statistics show. Of private health plan enrollees, 33 percent are under age 35.

Approximately 80 percent of enrollees qualified for coverage under the Medicaid expansion with the remaining 20 percent purchasing a private insurance plan. Of those who purchased private insurance plans, 72 percent qualified for some level of premium assistance.

Seventy-five percent of Kentuckians who purchased a private insurance plan through kynect selected the Kentucky Health Cooperative as their insurer with the remaining 25 percent equally divided between Anthem and Humana. Currently, 68 percent of those who enrolled in a private insurance plan have paid their first month’s premiums.

From Office of the Governor

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