Ah, here we go...the 2nd official update from Kynect (Kentucky's Obamacare exchange, for certain U.S. Senators who can't seem to admit that little detail).
15,140 QHPs in 24 days is around 631 per day...or about a 50% higher daily average so far than they had in 2014 (and that included the December and March Surges).
Meanwhile, they've also added an additional 10,017 people to Medicaid. They don't specify whether all of those are brand new (the vast majority of KY's Medicaid-eligible folks should already be enrolled by now) or if some of them are renewals by existing enrollees, however:
4,107 individuals have newly enrolled or renewed their enrollment in a qualified health plan.
735 individuals have enrolled in Medicaid
First, that QHP number is excellent.
As for the Medicaid number, it looks rather low. On the other hand, KY has probably already enrolled just about everyone in the state who qualifies for the ACA expansion program, so perhaps not...there may just not be that many more to add at this point!
On the other hand, according to their Twitter feed....
During #kynect's 2nd Open Enrollment, 4k+new accounts created; 15k+ applications submitted; over 4k enrolled in QHPs & 16k+ in Medicaid.
More state exchange numbers are starting to trickle in...
The state Cabinet for Health and Human Services said in a release that as of 4 p.m. Saturday, there had been 6,200 unique visitors to the Kynect Web site; 2,415 calls handled by the Kynect contact center; 504 applications submitted; and 368 individuals who had newly enrolled in a qualified health plan.
In addition, 70 visitors to the Kynect store at Fayette Mall in Lexington had completed 33 applications for new coverage.
The "newly enrolled" is important as well, to distinguish it from current enrollees renewing their policies. Hopefully all of the exchanges will be sure to clarify this, but...
The numbers ranged from as poor as Florida losing 12% of their enrollments in just 2 months to as well as Maryland and Oregon seeing a 30%+ net increase in enrollees over the past 6 months.
Today I can add Kentucky to the latter list. She couldn't provide an exact current count, but according to the woman I spoke with at the kynect exchange (that's "Obamacare", Mitch!), the number of Kentuckians currently enrolled in private policies via kynect is "right around the same number it was at last spring, between 80-85 thousand".
Last week I announced that I've started writing occasional pieces for HealthInsurance.org. Today they've published my 2nd entry, which is all about Kentucky, Mitch McConnell and the real-world impact on hundreds of thousands of people that repealing the ACA would have.
UPDATE:In my story, I noted that the Federal Government is picking up 100% of the tab for the expanded Medicaid enrollees for the first 3 years, and then thought that it dropped down to 90% for another 6 years, and then to the normal fed/state split after that (70/30 in the case of Kentucky).
Thanks to David M. for bringing to my attention this correction: The expansion program is an even better deal for the states than I thought, because apparently the Federal share only drops to 90% permanently (well, unless a future Congress messes around with that provision of the ACA, of course).
In response to that, another Kentucky resident responded with a different perspective. Again, aside from cleaning up some typos and breaking it into more paragraphs for easier readability, I'm presenting it verbatim:
Mr. Gaba, I am also from Kentucky. I appeciate your fact checking of McConnell on the ACA and in most instances I would say that you are correct and he is not.
That said, I work in health care and we have also seen a boon in our bottom line due to decreased uncompensated care and bad debts. We are also in a poor county and almost 80% of the people were Medicaid recipients including some of my family members, so the ACA, at least in the short term has benefited us.
Just received the following email from a Kentucky resident. With his permission, I'm leaving out his name but am presenting it verbatim otherwise, with no further comment:
Thanks for discrediting good ol' Mitch. What a joke. I am a resident of Kentucky and here's how the ACA impacts my family with other opinions included for good measure.
We have read and heard the partisan battle waged for and against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Much has been written and said, but I live it. I experience it. But to truly evaluate it requires good old-fashioned common sense. For some reason, this has gone the way of bipartisan politics.
Since I am a consultant paid on a per hour basis, I do not receive nor do I expect to receive health benefits through my employer. We purchased our health plan through the Kentucky Health Exchange – KYNECT: a marketplace to purchase health plans created via the ACA. We chose a silver plan.
The yellow highlights are lies by McConnell. The orange highlights are either questionable/confusing statements by either him or the moderator, or otherwise just noteworthy:
(Moderator Bill) Goodman: has Obamacare and kynect been a boon or a bane for Kentuckians? Senator?
Mcconnell: Kentucky kynect is a website1. It was paid for by a $200 million and some-odd grant from the federal government. The website can continue. But in my view, the best interest of the country would be achieved by pulling out Obamacare root & branch and let me tell you why.
What arglebargle will come out of Mitch McConnell's mouth regarding trying to yank healthcare away from over half a million Kentuckians this evening?
The Big Senate Debate of the day promises to be the showdown in Kentucky between Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Challenger (and current Secretary of State) Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Now that Mitch McConnell is starting to feel the heat, he's decided to try and double down on the Evils of Obamacare by tying Alison Lundergan Grimes to the law (even though she didn't vote for it, seeing how she isn't, you know, a Senator yet).
So, he's started running a new ad in which a real-life doctor attacks Obamacare (mentioning in the "O" word 6 times in 30 seconds, if you include the on-screen text) while stating that Grimes supports it while McConnell wants to repeal it.
But even as Obamacare found its sea legs nationally and boasted solid first enrollment numbers in recent weeks [reminder: article is from April], it still came as a surprise to local political watchers when a Kentucky Democratic congressional candidate picked up the ACA baton and used it to bash the GOP incumbent that she is challenging. Elisabeth Jensen, the presumptive favorite to take on Lexington Congressman Andy Barr this November, emerged last week as the first federal candidate in the region—and one of only a few in the entire country—to broadcast a campaign ad championing health care reform, and attacking her opponent for voting more than a dozen times to repeal it.