Beshear announces outreach campaign to inform uninsured Kentuckians of their options

05/15/2013 12:34 PM

Next up in Kentucky’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act is to let uninsured Kentuckians know about the health exchange that can match them up with insurance. And Gov. Steve Beshear announced that outreach effort on Wednesday.

The new public education initiative — called kynect—will be overseen by the Kentucky Office of the Health Benefit Exchange within the Cabinet of Health and Family services.

Kynect allows Kentuckians to discover what kind of health coverage they are eligible for through the website, a toll-free number or by speaking with someone in person.

Beshear said in a press conference Wednesday that kynect will help the 640,000 Kentuckians who are uninsured and is set up in a way to best suit the state of Kentucky. This follows last week’s announcement that Beshear had agreed to expand Medicaid to cover those making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty rate, which would apply to more than 300,000 of those uninsured Kentuckians.

“Under our Kentucky based design individuals, families and small businesses will be able to use kynect as one stop shopping to find health care coverage,” Beshear said.

The initiative serves to educate people about the new Medicaid expansion by matching Kentuckians with private health care coverage they can afford or helping them get covered under Medicaid.

Beshear said the major education and awareness effort will include members of the kynect staff attending community events and providing information to the public as well as a “full scale” advertising campaign to support their efforts.

“We want everybody to know a healthier future for Kentucky is on the way,” Beshear said.

Beshear told reporters that Kentucky has received $253 million in federal funds to set up the exchange and again argued that the exchange makes the most fiscal sense for the state.

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