The Commonwealth of Kentucky, one of only four official commonwealths in the U.S., was America’s 15th state. The Bluegrass State boasts many natural wonders, including the world’s longest cave system. Historically, the Republican and Democratic parties have been competitive for the state’s votes. Kentuckians voted for Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 but for Republican challengers in 2008 and 2012.
Kentucky held no official position on the Affordable Care Act when the law was challenged in the Supreme Court. It neither challenged nor supported Obamacare, but it did expand Medicaid under the law’s new guidelines.
Enrollment Through the Years
Kentuckians use the federal marketplace to enroll in ACA health care plans. The state’s number of enrollees in the ACA decreased from 2015 to 2016 and again from 2016 to 2017.
- 106,330 Kentuckians enrolled in 2015
- 93,666 Kentuckians enrolled in 2016
- 81,155 Kentuckians enrolled in 2017
In 2017, there were 80,786 new Kentucky enrollees in ACA insurance plans. Re-enrollments from 2016 to 2017 totaled only 369 Kentuckians, the lowest of any U.S. state. Kentucky’s most-enrolled demographic in 2017 was the older adult population, those aged 55-64.
It was one of the many states to expand its Medicaid program to provide medical coverage to the lowest-income-earning Americans in 2016. Thanks to expanded guidelines, 462,000 Kentuckians gained coverage under Medicaid.
Certain Kentucky enrollees who choose an ACA health care plan are eligible for cost assistance. Those enrollees must earn between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty limit. Kentuckians who earn up to 250 percent of the federal poverty limit and are enrolled in silver-level health care plans may be eligible for added cost-sharing reductions (CSRs).
In 2017, 78 percent of Kentuckians who were enrolled in an ACA health plan received cost assistance in the form of federal subsidies. These subsidies reduce the costs of their monthly premiums. Fifty-one percent of Kentuckians enrolled in marketplace plans also received CSRs this year.
Carrier Participation & Plan Availability
Kentucky had three participating insurance carriers in the ACA marketplace as of 2017. This is expected to drop to two participating carriers in 2018. In 2017, Kentucky carriers offered 1,455 health insurance plans. Plans vary from county to county, and not every resident has access to the same number or type of plan.