AARP state director Mark Estess appointed to health exchange board of directors

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Beginning next month, as many as 114,000 uninsured Kentuckians ages 50 to 64 could find affordable coverage through the state’s new health insurance exchange, kynect.

Established by the Affordable Care Act, the exchange works like an online marketplace, allowing state residents to compare benefits and  premiums and apply for financial help to cover the cost. In addition, they can find out whether they qualify for Medicaid.

Every plan offered through kynect covers the essentials, including doctor visits, emergency care, hospital care, prescription drug coverage and preventive care. They can’t charge a copayment for preventive care such as mammograms, Pap smears and blood pressure or cancer screenings.

Anyone can buy a policy in the marketplace, although it is aimed at uninsured individuals and businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Enrollment begins Oct. 1.

The plans come in four levels—bronze, silver, gold and platinum—with bronze considered basic coverage, silver standard and gold and platinum higher coverage with higher premiums. There are variations within each level.

People who enroll by Dec. 15 will have coverage on Jan. 1. People who enroll later will receive coverage about a month after they sign up.

For more information, visit kynect.ky.gov and HealthLawAnswers.org or call 855-459-6328.