Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Kentucky Wins First Day of Obamacare

At this rate, every one of Kentucky's 640,000 uninsured will be signed up by the end of open enrollment in March.

As Joseph Gerth wrote in the Courier, affordable health care is going to be Governor Steve Beshear's legacy.

From the press release:

Midway through its first full day of operation, Kentucky’s health benefit exchange, kynect, has been swarmed by nearly 60,000 visitors seeking information about affordable health care.

“The response has been swift and enormous,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “The fact that nearly 60,000 unique visitors have clicked on in its first day tells us that not only are Kentuckians ready for real, affordable health care, they don’t want to wait another minute to find it.”

Kynect was online and active at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time on October 1, 2013.  Between midnight and 8:30 a.m., 24,000 users visited kynect, and filed 1,015 applications for health care coverage.

The immediate crush of hits led to the discovery of a system glitch that prevented users from filing applications for several hours.  The rest of the site remained operational while the problem was repaired.  Full function was restored at 3 p.m.

Below statistics reflect activity on kynect as of 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time:
·         kynect had 57,625 unique visitors; viewing close to 600,000 web pages. 
·         The average visitor stayed on the site for 11 minutes.
·         The kynect contact center fielded 3,243 calls, and 110 e-mails.  Call center workers also conducted 103 online chats. 
·         52,095 people conducted pre-screenings to determine qualifications for subsidies, discounts or programs like Medicaid.
·         Nearly 2,000 applications have been started; 1,235 have been completed.

“While it’s very encouraging that so many people immediately visited kynect today to learn more about available health insurance, you don’t have to sign up today,” said Carrie Banahan, executive director of kynect.  “Open enrollment lasts for six months – there’s plenty of time to get information and determine the best plan for you and your family.”

Kentuckians in all 120 counties can visit to comparison shop for health insurance products. Kynect is expected to help uninsured residents get coverage through private insurance plans or Medicaid, as well as the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP).

Four out of five Kentuckians who use kynect are expected to qualify for financial assistance to help cover a portion of their healthcare costs.

Kentuckians who sign up before Dec. 15 will start coverage on January 1.  Open enrollment is available through March 31, 2014.

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