Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
If you don’t have health insurance, Tammy Moore with Northeast Kentucky Community Action Agency wants to help you get it. Moore, who helps folks navigate the paperwork associated with Medicaid and K-CHIP, as well as the Kynect online insurance marketplace, said there are a large number of options and plans. There is also assistance for folks of all financial levels, so plans can be tailored to fit your circumstances.
There is this perception, she said, that you have to be extremely poor to qualify for Medicaid, or for any assistance at all. But it isn’t an “all or nothing” situation, she said. It’s also all handled under one umbrella group, so no matter your situation they can serve as your one point of contact for healthcare coverage.
“The Kynect program handles all of the Medicaid, it handles the K-CHIP – which is for children – and it handles the marketplace,” she explained. “So, if people don’t qualify for the Medicaid, they qualify for (a plan through) the federal marketplace.”
Northeast Community Action, who serves as a contractor for the state in implementing the Kynect program, helps navigate all of that for applicants so that it doesn’t become overwhelming. All applicants need to bring is their personal information and information on their household income.
“We do all of that. We give them all of the information and tell them what different premiums they can get, things like that. So, we get people going and walk them through the whole process.”
People can get onto the Kynect site themselves, at kynect.ky.gov, and pick their own plans. But for those who don’t have the broadband access, or who are intimidated or confused by some part of the process, they can provide that support.
“Sometimes it’s easier to have someone else do it for you, instead of trying to figure out where you need to go to,” she said. “Especially in the federal marketplace.”
She said the limits for Medicaid vary, depending on how many people are in the household. But a household of four making under $40,000 a year will qualify for some assistance, and possibly full coverage.
“You’re definitely going to qualify,” she said. “And it (Medicaid) pays for all the medical. All the prescriptions. It pays for eye exam. And it pays for dental.”
“Let’s say you don’t qualify for the Medicaid, because your income is too high,” Moore continued. “The children could qualify for what is called the K-CHIP program.”
That program insures children from birth to age 18, she said.
“Basically, they will get Medicaid, even if (the adult doesn’t) qualify, up to the age of 18,” she explained.
She said with the programs available there is “absolutely no reason” for anyone in the state of Kentucky not to have some type of healthcare coverage.
She said a majority of Carter County citizens probably qualify for some level of healthcare assistance.
If you’re interested in finding out if you qualify, Northeast Community Action will have a booth set up at the Fall Y’all vendor fair in downtown Olive Hill on Saturday, all day. Moore said you only need a brief bit of personal information and identification to begin the process, and they will do all the work. It takes “about ten minutes,” to get signed up, she said.
“You can do it while the kids play a game, or stand in line for a funnel cake,” she said.
For more information, visit the Community Action booth on Saturday in Olive Hill, or call Moore at (606)225-7421. You can also visit kynect.ky.gov online or call toll-free at 1-855-4kynect.
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