Temporary Medicaid filled the gap in COVID coverage and saved Kentucky’s life.


Hundreds of thousands of Kentuckies lost their jobs when the COVID-19 case escalated last year and the bottom fell out of the economy. For many, this meant losing their health insurance when they needed it most. Between March and August last year, the number of uninsured Kentucky citizens more than doubled. Knowing this, the federal government has given Kentucky permission to begin enrolling new uninsured Kentucky citizens in a temporary form of Medicaid called “estimated eligibility” or PE for short.

This move was a game changer. Thanks to PE, from March 2020 to March 2021, Medicaid targeted more than 200,000 Kentucky citizens who took their medication without bankruptcy, consulted a doctor, and continued to receive treatment. .. Some even survived the battle with COVID-19 with the help of PE. In fact, one study found that Kentucky has fewer people dying from COVID-19 as a result of coverage gaps than most states due to its swift action to cover more people. This special form of compensation can also help highlight hospitals, especially in rural areas, during the worst of recessions and send hospitals in Kentucky more than $ 170 million.

However, PE is intended to be an urgent suspension for uninsured Kentucky citizens and is temporary as it lasts only six months. For many of the 125,000 enrolled people, June 30th is the end of the line. Many of these people may have applied for regular Medicaid insurance, purchased health insurance at healthcare.gov, or returned to work with health benefits (and therefore stopped using PE). But many others need to do this next week to avoid their health insurance gap.

Fortunately, the US Rescue Planning Act (ARPA) has created a number of new policies to enable Kentucky citizens to offer health insurance in exchange by reducing premiums by an average of 40%. As a result, four in five Kentucky citizens can now get exchange insurance for less than $ 10 per month, and more than half can find a silver plan with a premium of $ 0.

In addition to low-wage earners who are eligible to receive a $ 0 premium, ARPA has also established a premium-free silver plan for those who have been unemployed for any period of time in 2020. This is an option that many Kentucky citizens who are losing PE Medicaid are likely to qualify. Deductions and out-of-pocket payments continue to be obstacles, and while these plans can be costly, low-wage Kentucky citizens are also eligible for subsidies to reduce out-of-pocket costs. In a normal year, the open registration of the exchange plan ended in December last year, but the Biden administration resumed the exchange until August 15, more for uninsured Americans to take advantage of these improvements. I made it possible to have time for. Even high-income households will get discounted health insurance for the first time in exchange.

Last year was very difficult for many, but state and federal officials have intervened to reduce healthcare concerns by one. The swift action of Congress to save lives and livelihoods and reduce insurance costs through ARPA meant that people could recover and receive the care they needed. If you learned something last year, it means that the press is important. Public coverage has been strengthened to tackle the gap here in Kentucky.

Dustin Pugel is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Economic Policy in Kentucky, and Kelly Taulbee is a Communications and Development Coordinator for Kentucky Voice for Health.

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