Kentucky Uninsurance Rate Lower than 8 Surrounding States

(LOUISVILLE, Ky – May 11, 2016) — More Kentuckians are gaining health insurance coverage, a trend that has continued since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented in 2014, according to a report released today by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The fourth quarter 2015 snapshot of the impact of the ACA in Kentucky indicates that the rate of uninsurance was 7.5 percent as of December 2015, down from 9 percent in June 2015. Nationally, 11.7 percent lacked health insurance as of December; the rate was 10.2 percent for the eight states surrounding Kentucky.

“Lack of insurance is a significant barrier to getting necessary health care and preventive services timely,” said Susan Zepeda, President/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “Tracking this and other key information about access to and cost of care in Kentucky helps to inform health policy decisions.”

The report was created by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) at the University of Minnesota, and is part of a 34-month study funded by the Foundation.

  • Other highlights of the report include:
    Uninsurance: Since December 2013, Kentucky's uninsurance rate has dropped 12.9 percentage points, more than double the national decline of 5.6 percentage points. And while uninsurance rates remained relatively stable for the country as a whole and in neighboring states in 2015, Kentucky's rate has continued to decline. 
  • Enrollment by Plan Level: During the third Open Enrollment Period, most kynect enrollees (60 percent) selected silver level health insurance plans. Compared to national enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplaces, Kentuckians selected more gold (11 percent vs. 6 percent) and bronze (27 percent vs. 23 percent) plans compared to enrollees nationwide.
  • Enrollment via kynect: Compared to the United States as a whole and each of its neighboring states, more of kynect's customers (59 percent) returned to the Commonwealth's Health Insurance
  • Marketplace to select plans; 22 percent were automatically re-enrolled in plans. However, kynect saw a smaller share of new customers than the country overall (20 percent vs. 39 percent) or neighboring states.
  • Medicaid Services: Medicaid covered 41,493 dental preventive services, 9,708 breast cancer screenings, 8,276 substance abuse treatment services, and 5,589 colorectal cancer screenings to enrollees age 19-64 during the fourth quarter of 2015. Most of these services were provided to beneficiaries covered under Medicaid expansion, rather than traditional Medicaid.
  • Uncompensated Care: While hospital care performed without payment has continued to drop for both urban and rural hospitals since 2014, rural hospitals observed slight increases in 2015.

The full report is available here.