While Kentucky’s on-line marketplace for health insurance is running well, some questions remain about its long term costs. Louisville Republican Julie Denton, who chairs the Senate’s Health and Welfare Committee, still worries too many newly-insured Kentuckians will have costly health care needs.
“The concern that we have is adverse selection, that those who are signing up are going to be those who’ve got greater medical issues and we’re not gonna get enough young healthy individuals signed up, so that we would have a dramatic increase in the premiums,” said Denton.
Denton adds the legislature should have a larger say in the system’s management. Both an expansion of Medicaid and the creation of the state’s on-line marketplace were created through executive orders issued by Kentucky’s governor.
Unlike its federally managed counterpart, the Commonwealth’s KYNECT website got to a strong start. Since it was launched last month, the governor’s office says over 100-thousand people have used the site to purchase coverage.
In addition to the online option, State Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Haynes says over a thousand businesses and another two thousand insurance agents are signing people up. She adds relatively young Kentuckians are also buying coverage.
“We really anticipated that the 35 and under group would have been some of the last people to sign up and so to have 41 percent to sign up this early I think is a good sign,” explained Haynes.
It’s hoped younger, healthier subscribers will provide the system with much needed revenue. The cost of running Kentucky’s health benefit exchange is federal funded until January, 20-15. After that, Haynes says it could be financed with fees paid by insurance companies.