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Health Benefits Exchange to Deliver New Hope and Access

Health Benefit Exchange (kynect) to Deliver New Hope for 332,000 Kentuckians in Need of Health Coverage

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following last week’s historic decision expanding the state’s Medicaid program to an estimated 308,000 Kentuckians, Governor Steve Beshear announced plans to reach another 332,000 uninsured Kentuckians. The state's new health benefit exchange is named "kynect" and will provide individuals, families and small businesses with easy, one-stop shopping to find the healthcare coverage you need. See more at

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Three years after being signed into law, a critical part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Kentucky’s Health Benefit Exchange, is preparing to open for business. A centerpiece of the health reform legislation backed by AARP, the state-level health insurance exchange will be fully operational by January 1, 2014. These Exchanges are to provide a one-stop place for individuals and small employers to learn about their health insurance options and purchase the plan that best fits their needs.

“AARP is committed to making access to affordable quality health care available to everyone,” said Tihisha Rawlins, Associate State Director for Grassroots Initiatives for AARP Kentucky.  Rawlins has been her using her professional experience and knowledge of the ACA to work with the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange Advisory Board as a consumer representative since September 2012.

“Our goal in Kentucky, and across the country, has been to inform and empower people to make clear and well-informed health care decisions for themselves and their families, and we think our Health Benefit Exchange will help meet that goal,” added Rawlins.

A priority for AARP Kentucky has been to ensure that Kentucky’s Exchange-kynect- is consumer-friendly and offers affordable, quality health care choices. The Exchange will help people find coverage and determine whether their premiums could be subsidized with a tax credit.

As the Open Enrollment period approaches, AARP Kentucky will continue to focus its outreach to raise uninsured consumers’ awareness and share information at local events (including the Kentucky State Fair), with partner organizations, and using all its communication channels.

“We know a tough economy has hurt middle-class families with stagnating income; escalating debt; and rising costs for housing, education and health care. So, we’re making a special effort to reach out to the 114,000 Kentuckians ages 50 to 64 that lack health insurance. One key measure of its success will be the extent to which consumers and small employers find the purchase experience to be informative and easy,” said Ron Bridges AARP Kentucky State Director.

By design, the Exchange will help every Kentucky consumer and small business with a structured way to compare “apples to apples” and choose from the health insurance plan premiums, benefit packages, cost-sharing, and quality.

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