Dec 23, 2013 3:58 PM
Private health plans up 121 percent since Thanksgiving week
FRANKFORT - The 100,000th Kentuckian enrolled in health insurance over the weekend thanks to kynect, the state's health benefit exchange, continuing the surge of interest and applications for health insurance since Thanksgiving. If premiums are paid on time, coverage will begin for these enrolled Kentuckians on Jan. 1.
As Kentucky's health benefit website administrators predicted, thousands of Kentuckians are making final decisions on their family's health care plans in time to ensure their coverage is effective by New Year's Day.
Purchases of private health plans soared again, with more than 5,000 new enrollments since last week. Since Thanksgiving week, enrollments in private health insurance have swelled by 121 percent.
Surge preparations paying off
kynect's technology team had anticipated a post-Thanksgiving increase in web traffic, applications and enrollments, and the team increased capacity in order to meet the demand.
The kynect team reviewed all technology systems to make sure each element could handle a significant increase in web traffic, including account creation, application, eligibility determination, shopping, and verification tasks.
Beginning Dec. 2, the kynect website boasted a more than 80 percent increase in capacity due to adding more servers to the core infrastructure, along with other solution refinements.
The kynect call center added Sunday hours to process the additional crush of calls and applications, making the center a 7-day-a-week operation.
kynect has been hailed as a national model since its launch Oct. 1 for its smooth operation and easy interface for users looking for affordable health coverage.
Since Thanksgiving week, the site has enrolled nearly 1,600 Kentuckians each day into new health coverage.
Enroll by midnight tonight for earliest coverage
Families and individuals seeking affordable health insurance coverage should enroll by midnight tonight, Dec. 23, to ensure coverage begins on the first available date of Jan. 1. All who filed an application by Dec. 23 will have an effective coverage date of Jan. 1, even if they are still in the enrollment process and haven't selected a plan and/or made a payment.
However, individuals may sign up for insurance anytime before March 31 to avoid penalties.
The below statistics reflect activity on kynect as of 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21:
· 684,000 unique visitors viewing 21.6 million web pages. That's an increase of nearly 62,000 new website visitors in just over a week.
· 518,000 people conducted preliminary screenings to determine qualifications for subsidies, discounts or programs like Medicaid - about 37,000 new screenings.
· 100,096 Kentuckians are now enrolled in new health coverage, including Medicaid and private insurance - an 18.5 percent increase over last week.
· 74,054 have enrolled in Medicaid.
· 26,042 have enrolled in a qualified health plan (QHP) - an additional 5,091 over last week. Since Thanksgiving week, QHP purchases have increased 121 percent.
· Nearly 40 percent of the enrollees in Medicaid or qualified health plans are under 35 years old.
· 36,700 have been found eligible for a subsidy to purchase a qualified health plan, but many have not yet chosen a plan.
· 8,437 have enrolled in dental plans.
· 1,232 small businesses have started applications for employee coverage; 500 of those businesses have completed applications and are eligible to offer coverage to employees.
· More than 279,000 calls processed by the kynect call center - a 79 percent increase in call volume since Thanksgiving week.
For further updates on kynect numbers, visit governor.ky.gov/healthierky. Statistics will be updated there regularly.