Uninsured Kentuckians can shop for health-care coverage soon

HAZARD, Ky (WYMT) - Starting October first, folks across Kentucky can start looking for health-care coverage as part of Kentucky Connect or KYnect.

Kynect is the state's health insurance exchange program, which was required under Obamacare.

Changes are coming and at the Hazard Clinic, administrator Stephanie Wooton is excited about what it will mean for their patients.

"We, as a clinic, are looking forward to the changes because we think, well we know, so many people are going to be eligible in Kentucky for health insurance," said Wooton.

Under Kentucky Connect, uninsured Kentuckians, which make up about 15 percent of the state's population, will have access to four insurance plans.

The bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans will offer different levels of coverage.

In a news conference Tuesday, Governor Steve Beshear said that each of the four new Kynect plans will each have to include certain services.

Some of those are: ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, services for mental health issues, prescriptions, rehabilitative, laboratory and pediatric services, along with preventative care.

Gov. Beshear said there is no way to put an average cost on health-care coverage under the new program.

"We cannot give you a definitive set of numbers or even a chart because there are too many different variables for each individual family," said Beshear.

While the exact cost is unclear, Wooton said people will have access to subsidies.

"Talk to your doctors offices. Talk to Kentucky Connect. Talk to your employers to see if their insurance plans are going to change. See if, just see what you are eligible for," said Wooton.

Doctor Mitchell Wicker works at the clinic and said they will have trained staff available to guide you through the changes.

"How to choose their health-care, what to do and that is going to be the biggest thing because this is going to be a confusing, confusing thing for people," said Wicker.

Opponents complain the law is tough on business owners.

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