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Time running out to enroll for KY’s Marketplace health insurance plans

The deadline for open enrollment in Kentucky’s 2021 Marketplace health insurance plans is December 15, and the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange wants to make sure people are prepared, informed and have the resources they need to choose their plan.

Coverage starts Jan. 1, and Kentuckians who were enrolled through the Marketplace for 2020 and who do not want to make changes to their plans will be automatically re-enrolled. However, everyone is encouraged to check the status of their enrollment and selected coverage options. In many cases, policyholders will have the same plan for 2021 or their coverage will move from their current plan to an available 2021 option that most closely matches their current coverage.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services, of which the KHBE is a part, is using a number of methods to reach current policyholders and potential new enrollees, including direct mail, emails and phone calls. Additionally, KHBE is coordinating with community-based kynectors who service every county in the state on virtual events, which are designed to educate the public and assist with applying for coverage.

Many Kentucky counties now offer two or more options for health insurance carriers. Anthem and CareSource have expanded their service areas to cover additional counties, compared to their 2020 offerings. KHBE asks Kentuckians to keep this in mind while shopping for 2021 coverage.

Here is where you can find out which carriers cover Kentucky’s 120 counties.

“It’s very important for individuals to update their applications, even if they were covered last year, so they can review the most current information on what savings are available and to find a plan that best meets their needs,” said Edith Slone, KHBE Division director.

About 80 percent of Kentuckians enrolled in the exchange qualify for tax credits or subsidies that reduce their monthly health insurance premiums. For most of those who qualify, the credits should offset any premium increases so the cost of insurance in 2021 will be about the same as this year.

The state-based call center is available at 855-459-6328 to assist Kentuckians with questions about getting health care coverage and can help prescreen for eligibility. The customer service center, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week (excluding holidays), is also available by calling 800-318-2596.

Current plan holders, and those who want to view 2021 options on the exchange, can now go to HealthCare.gov and use the shopping tool. For new users, the federal marketplace requires the creation of a user account and a completed online application.

Again, action is needed by Dec. 15 for 2021 coverage, unless a Kentuckian qualifies for an exception: such as change in marital status, a birth, a move or other Special Enrollment Period qualification.