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Kentucky was one of the states that perceived the Affordable Care Act skeptically. However, the tables have turned throughout the years; the Obamacare has significantly improved its health insurance sector, benefitting many of its residents. Although you can expect rate increases (much like majority of the country) to happen in 2017 as well as fewer carrier options, KY still offers more selections than many of the other states.

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Do people in KY have healthy lifestyles?

Most recent studies show the state performing not so well in health ratings. It ranked 40th (of 51) in The Commonwealth Fund’s 2015 State Health System Performance. In most of the “Indicators” the organization used in the study, it received quintile 4, the lowest possible grading. To have a better understanding of these grades, take a look at these findings:

  • Mortality amenable to healthcare: 106 out of 100,000 people

  • Breast cancer fatalities: 21.1 out of 100,000 women

  • Colorectal cancer fatalities: 17.1 out of 100,000 individuals

  • Percentage of adult smokers: 25%

  • Adult obesity: 33%

  • Obesity in children aged 10-17: 36%

The following are some comparisons between the state and the country:

  • 12% of adults (19 to 64 years old) don’t have insurance, compared with the national average of 15%

  • 5% of children (infants to 18 years old) are uninsured, as opposed to the countrywide average of 6%

  • 16% of the adult population chose not to obtain insurance due to the high costs associated with it (the same with the US average)

  • 18% of adults had expensive out-of-pocket medical bills, 2% higher than the national average of 16%

The levels of coverage and the insurer-covered portion

For 2017, carriers offer four different metal tiers, with each one having varying levels of coverage. You and your provider will share in the costs of medical and hospital bills, although the latter will cover more. In other words, the higher tier you have, the bigger the reimbursements.

Bronze – 60%

Silver – 70%

Gold – 80%

Platinum – 90%

Bronze
Silver
Gold
Platinum

Rate increases depend on the carrier, but on average, it jumped by more than 20% (not exceeding 30%). As for your potential premium averages, here are some projections from the United States Department of Health & Human Services:

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $259

  • Second-lowest silver after advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $142

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a family of four with a $60,000 household income): $939

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a family of four with a $60,000 household income): $405

How the state’s uninsured rating is going

Possibly one of the best things to happen in the state is the dramatic reduction in the number of residents who don’t have insurance. This has helped control the rise in rates somewhat, seeing that uninsured rating is one of the major factors insurers use to calculate rates and premiums.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services assessed each state’s increase in residents gaining coverage from 2010 to 2015. According to the study, the Bluegrass State’s insured population jumped by a whopping 9.3%, from 84.7% to 94%. By the time 2016 rolled in, 404,000 more of the then estimated population of 4,425,092 (2015, latest data1) obtained insurance.

Don’t be tempted to get the lowest possible coverage even when you can afford a higher tier. Always keep in mind that medical and hospital costs are extremely expensive, and going without it can put you at high risk of medical bankruptcy.

References:

https://www.healthinsurance.org/kentucky/

http://datacenter.commonwealthfund.org/scorecard/state/19/kentucky/

https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/212721/2017MarketplaceLandscapeBrief.pdf

https://aspe.hhs.gov/compilation-state-data-affordable-care-act

1Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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