The Kentucky Access program is closing to make way for the Affordable Care Act.The 14-year-old program was created to provide affordable health coverage to high-risk Kentuckians. It's ending because of a provision in the ACA that requires insurers to provide coverage to those people regardless of pre-existing conditions.
Louisville Rep. Steve Riggs sponsored legislation that created the program in 2000. He says Kentucky Access isn't needed now that the ACA is implemented.
“It’s redundant, yeah. Duplicative. So that’s why the Department of Insurance is phasing it out, because now you can get that same type of coverage with the ACA, with Kentucky KYnect, and in many cases I understand it’s less expensive,” said Riggs.
Kentuckians who obtained insurance through the program will now have to sign up for coverage under the state’s health insurance exchange, KYnect (Connect), before April or they will face tax penalties.
At its peak, Kentucky Access enrolled about 4,800 people.