Wednesday, April 2, 2014

State will reopen health-insurance enrollment for eight days, starting Friday, citing heavy demand

Kentucky will extend its deadline to sign up for insurance under federal health reform, citing a surge of last minute applications. Gov. Steve Beshear announced Tuesday that Kentuckians will be able to enroll from Friday, April 4 through Friday, April 11.

The official deadline had been midnight Monday, March 31 for those using the state insurance exchange, Kynect. People eligible for Medicaid can apply on the exchange at any time. The details on how this special enrollment period will work, including call center hours, will be announced Thursday, according to a news release from the governor's office.

The days between March 31 and April 4 will allow time to adjust computers for the extension, Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokeswoman Gwenda Bond told Mary Meehan of the Lexington Herald-Leader. She also said it will allow "Kynectors" to set up appointments with people in their communities to help process their applications.

Over the weekend, 21,000 people signed up, including 12,000 Monday, state officials said.

As of April 1, 370,829 Kentuckians had enrolled through the exchange; 293,802 of those signed up for Medicaid, and 77,027 signed up for private insurance. When open enrollment began Oct. 1, state officials estimated there were 640,000 uninsured in Kentucky. Some people getting coverage through the exchange were insured but their policies were canceled because they didn't comply with the reform law.

The federal government's website,, was reported to be overwhelmed with users on Monday. Bond said Kynect did not experience any "glitches" in the rush to sign up for health insurance on Monday, Meehan reports.

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