A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Report card: Georgetown University report finds progress has stalled for Kentucky Kids Health

The number of uninsured children nationwide increased by about 400,000 in the past two years, reversing nearly a decade of gains, according to a new report released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. An estimated 4 million children were uninsured nationwide in 2018, the highest levels since the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2014.   In Kentucky, the analysis shows progress...

Open enrollment for federally subsidized health insurance begins this Friday, runs through Dec. 15

Open enrollment for federally subsidized health insurance in Kentucky next year will begin this Friday (Nov. 1) and run through Dec. 15. Plans will cost more or less than this year, depending on the insurer and the type of plan. And many consumers will have more choices. (Click for larger image) Policies offered on the federal insurance exchange by Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky will be an average...

Daily Yonder: A tale of two hospitals just 24 miles apart; one of them survived, the other did not

By Taylor Sisk Special to KyForward Between 2013 and 2017, 64 rural hospitals across the country shut down, more than double the rate of the previous five years. More than half of closures since 2010 were in the South, where most states have chosen not to expand Medicaid, as allowed for under the Affordable Care Act. One such hospital was Cumberland River Hospital in the Middle Tennessee town of Celina,...

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce initiative to help small businesses manage health care costs

With health care costs hitting small employers particularly hard, many Kentucky organizations have found themselves struggling to offer health benefits to their employees. The latest health plan offered through the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce aims to solve that problem through a new type of health plan that allows multiple smaller employers to join together to achieve savings. The health plan, called...

Breaking a ten-year streak, the number of uninsured Americans increased by nearly two million in 2018

By Phil Galewitz Kaiser Health News For the first time in a decade, the number of Americans without health insurance has risen — by about 2 million people in 2018 — according to the annual U.S. Census Bureau report released last week. The Census found that 8.5% of the U.S. population went without medical insurance for all of 2018, up from 7.9% in 2017. By contrast, in 2013, before the Affordable...

Jamie Ennis Bloyd of Lexington named Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s Healthy Policy Champion

Childhood cancer research, prevention and treatment advocate Jamie Ennis Bloyd of Lexington has been named a Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Bloyd is president of both the Kentucky Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund and the Kentucky Pediatric Cancer Foundation, as well as national director of government relations and external affairs for the American Childhood...

Kentuckians continue losing Medicaid coverage for unexplained reasons; bureaucratic hurdles an issue

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Some Kentuckians are losing Medicaid coverage, and don’t know why. According to the health care consumers group Families USA, the percentage of Medicaid enrollees in Kentucky dropped by 4 percent between 2017 and 2018, mirroring a national trend. Authors of a report by the group say that annual, or even monthly, eligibility re-determination processes, which...

New Commonwealth Institute baseline report shows state’s gains under ACA, Medicaid Expansion

The University of Louisville’s Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky on Tuesday released a report on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s impact on Kentucky’s health and economy since 2014. This report documents Kentucky’s numerous health and economic gains that largely hang in the balance of the federal court case Stewart v. Azar, brought by sixteen Kentuckians against the Centers for Medicare &...

CHFS releases updated Medicaid budget predictions, Kentucky HEALTH timeline for 2019

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has released updated guidance regarding the implementation of Kentucky HEALTH, which was re-approved in November by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The new information includes updated implementation milestones for various components of Kentucky HEALTH that will be phased-in during 2019. On April 1, Kentucky HEALTH will begin with many...

Attorney General Beshear says Texas judge’s ruling on ACA stayed until appeal is heard

Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Monday that the U.S. District Judge in Texas who declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional has stayed his order, pending an appeal of the ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. 
When the judge announced his ruling earlier this month, Beshear said Kentuckians would be harmed by the decision in 10 ways: Andy Beshear 
–...

Support for Health Care Law remains steady in Kentucky; attitudes vary by political affiliation

More Kentucky adults have positive opinions about the Affordable Care Act than negative, according to the 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). The survey, sponsored by Interact for Health and Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, found that 4 in 10 Kentucky adults (44%) view the law favorably, compared with more than 3 in 10 (33%) who said they view the legislation unfavorably. An additional 2 in...

Bill Straub: Trump lies because he can, but with the numbers stacking up, few seem to care

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday of this week USA Today, which fancies itself a newspaper, published an op-ed piece from the president of the United States of America, one Donald J. Trump, in which he declared, among other things, that he had kept his campaign promises regarding health care, maintaining “that we would protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions and create new health care...

New report shows Medicaid expansion has had significant impact in Ky., especially in rural areas

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service New research illustrates the significant impact Medicaid expansion is having in Kentucky, especially in rural areas. Among states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to the findings, uninsured rates for low-income adults living in rural areas and small towns fell more than three times more than in non-expansion states. As early adopter...

Beshear fighting temporary injunction request seeking to halt nation’s health care system

Attorney General Andy Beshear is fighting a request for a temporary injunction filed this week by a group of states seeking to halt the nation’s health care system while an ongoing lawsuit on the issue plays out in federal court. Beshear Beshear and a group of state attorneys general are intervening in the lawsuit – Texas et al. v. United States et al. – that claims the ACA is unconstitutional...

Beshear, AGs file court action to block ACA lawsuit; claims Kentucky would lose $49.7 billion in funding

A group of state attorneys general is joining together to protect the nation’s health care system by seeking to intervene in and combat a lawsuit aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Attorney General Andy Beshear has announced. The lawsuit claims that the ACA is unconstitutional because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the ACA penalty for failing to purchase health insurance – known...

Substance abuse common in both urban and rural areas, but rural users less likely to seek treatment

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News In some ways, substance abuse is worse in urban areas, but rural drug users are less likely to get treatment, according to two studies recently released by the Rural and Underserved Health Research Center at the University of Kentucky. The studies looked at the last 10 years, which included several significant developments in the field. In 2008-2010 came the...

Constance Alexander: Healthcare costs, lack of compassion in Washington darken last days of 2017

My first interview with Theresa was published December 21, 2000. That story recounted her history: Thirteen years after she successfully battled breast cancer, she was diagnosed with ovarian. Since her bout with breast cancer earned her the dubious distinction of having a “pre-existing condition,” she simply could not afford health insurance. Ovarian cancer demanded a grueling – and costly —...

Bill Straub: Republicans are on verge of adopting bad tax cut measure; they’ll lie — and get away with it

Senate Republicans are on the verge of adopting a tax cut measure that will make the old Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island look like the Garden of Eden and are looking to their always reliable playbook to sell this Krakatoa-sized disaster to an understandably doubting public. Put simply, they will lie. And if history is any guide, they stand a good chance of getting away with it – at least...

UK Healthcare using education incentives to address critical shortage of registered nurses in Kentucky

It has been said that nurses are the most trusted professionals in healthcare. In addition to providing treatment, they are nurturers, educators, and champions for the sick and injured. And Kentucky doesn’t have enough of them. A shortage of registered nurses, whether they are in hospital or clinical setting, is a multifaceted dilemma. The aging “baby boomer” population places a strain...

Changes to Medicaid program mean Kentuckians may need to work, volunteer to remain eligible

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The Trump administration has announced rules changes for the Medicaid program that allow states to require some enrollees to work or volunteer – changes that likely pave the way for Kentucky’s new Medicaid plan to be approved. “Let me be clear to everyone in this room, we will approve proposals that promote community engagement activities,”...