Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Kentuckians with health insurance are more likely to have heard about Kynect than those without insurance, poll finds

The 10 percent of Kentuckians who remain without health insurance are less likely to have heard much about Kynect, the state health-insurance exchange created under the federal health-reform law, than those who have insurance.

But overall, the uninsured are only a little less likely than all Kentucky adults to have heard anything about the online marketplace, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll. The survey, taken Oct. 8 through Nov. 6, found that 77 percent of Kentucky adults said they had heard about Kynect. Among the uninsured, the figure was 70 percent.

However, the uninsured were much less likely to say they had heard "a lot" or "some" about Kynect, and more likely to say they had heard "only a little." And only 17 percent of the uninsured said they had tried to get more information about Kynect, suggesting that efforts to reach the uninsured to get them to sign up for coverage have not reached a substantial part of the population the exchange was designed to serve.

Kynect can be used to sign up for private health insurance or the federal-state Medicaid program, which the state has expanded to include people in households with annual incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which in 2013 was $32,500 for a family of four. Among Kentucky adults with such incomes, 19 percent said they had sought more information about Kynect.

The poll was conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health, formerly the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. It interviewed 1,597 adults throughout Kentucky, 1,086 by landline telephone and 511 by cellphone. In 95 of 100 cases, the statewide estimates will be accurate to ± 2.5 percent. The error margin for smaller samples is larger. For details about the poll, go to www.interactforhealth.org/kentucky-health-issues-poll.

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