UPDATE: Enrollment now open for kynect health plans, vision available

Starting Nov. 1, Kentuckians can apply, enroll in benefits through the Kentucky marketplace at kynect.ky.gov

UPDATE POSTED 2 A.M. NOV. 1, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/Kentucky Health News) – Enrollment is now open on Kynect, the state’s revived health-insurance marketplace, for federally subsidized health insurance for 2022.

The system that many call “Obamacare” has two more insurers than this year, and its first coverage for vision care. Also, some people will find coverage less expensive, thanks to greater federal subsidies.

Enrollment opened Monday, Nov. 1, and open enrollment on kynect.ky.gov runs through Jan. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1. On the site, Kentuckians can compare options, apply for coverage and complete their enrollment all on one platform, even if they qualify for Medicaid, which covers about a third of Kentuckians.

“Kynectors,” who help Kentuckians sign up for coverage on Kynect, are available for free in every county to answer questions and help people sign up for coverage.
In addition to Anthem’s statewide coverage and CareSource, which is offering health plans in 100 of the state’s 120 counties, a few counties have new insurers; Ambetter from WellCare, in six western counties, and Passport Health Plan by Molina in Jefferson, Oldham and Bullitt counties.Fourteen counties will have only Anthem plans to choose from, down from 26 this year. Most are small and rural, but they include Warren County, the core of metropolitan Bowling Green, the state’s third-largest city. Warren and eight neighboring counties also had Anthem as their only choice this year.

And for the first time, Kentuckians will be able to purchase a vision coverage plan through Kynect. VSP Individual Vision Plans will offer enrollees a comprehensive eye exam from an in-network doctor, an eyeglass-frame allowance and lens enhancements, such as progressives.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED OCT. 14, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)Kentuckians are encouraged to visit kynect.ky.gov starting Friday, Oct. 15, to review and compare plans on the state’s new health care marketplace to see what coverage will best suit their needs for 2022. Kentuckians can enroll from Nov. 1, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022.

The state-based marketplace relaunch, recently approved by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, will allow Kentuckians to access and compare state-managed health care options, apply for coverage and complete their enrollment all on one convenient platform. The relaunched portal also will help connect Kentuckians with other benefits and resources, including food, utilities assistance, transportation, job training and veterans’ benefits.

“As COVID cases continue to decline and our economy surges, we’re excited to be bringing back the state-based health care marketplace,” Gov. Beshear said. “Making sure all Kentuckians have access to affordable health care coverage helps further strengthen our economy and our families by reducing the consequences of being uninsured. During this preview period, we encourage Kentuckians to visit kynect to see if they may be able to access more benefits while reducing their monthly health plan costs.”

The new plans take effect Jan. 1, 2022, which gives Kentuckians time to review plan details from the insurer.

The switch to a state-based marketplace is expected to save Kentuckians at least $15 million a year. Kentuckians who buy commercial health plans through the federal site pay a surcharge on premiums, which will not continue with the state-based marketplace.

Savings will be passed on to people who buy health coverage through the marketplace. Restoring the portal and other kynect services will help people get access with more local support throughout the application process, including the ability to determine eligibility for Medicaid or help offsetting their out-of-pocket premium costs.

The Governor said kynect also offers a solution for small businesses through the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP. The plans are available for employers insuring two to 50 employees and allow health coverage issuers to provide Kentucky’s smallest businesses with affordable plan options that offer essential benefits.

Wider Choice
In addition to Anthem’s statewide coverage and CareSource, which offers plans in 100 counties, consumers can shop for plans available in select counties from two new health insurers: Ambetter from WellCare of Kentucky and Passport Health Plan by Molina. Plans also will be offered by Aetna and United Healthcare.

Also new in January 2022, Kentuckians will be able to purchase a vision plan through kynectVSP Individual Vision Plans will offer enrollees a comprehensive eye exam from an in-network doctor, an eye frame allowance and lens enhancements, such as progressives.

Help is Available
Free help is available to Kentuckians during the Open Enrollment Period, Nov. 1, 2021, to Jan.15, 2022.

To learn more, visit kynect.ky.gov.

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