Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

July 14, 2014

New health-care law

Poll: ACA, kynect unpopular in region

ASHLAND — A newly released Kentucky Health Issues Poll from 2013 indicates eastern Kentuckians are split about certain health issues involving the state’s insurance marketplace kynect and the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

According to the poll of Kentuckians who voted from the eastern region, 48 percent had unfavorable views of ACA. But these views could be connected to a lack of understanding about the new health-care law.

About 44 percent of eastern Kentucky adults said they had enough information about ACA to know how it would personally affect them, which is slightly higher than the state’s 40 percent average.

However, these results indicate less than half of eastern Kentuckians are getting adequate information about ACA, which could be related to the act’s unpopularity.

According to the poll, “Significantly fewer eastern Kentucky adults reported favorable opinions about the Affordable Care Act as compared to the state.”

Considering these statistics, it comes as no surprise eastern Kentuckians claim to know little about the state’s insurance marketplace, kynect, which allows people to sign up for ACA coverage and compare rates between companies via an online portal.

Uninsured Kentuckians whose income is at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines can receive Medicaid and access insurance coverage through kynect. Individuals not insured through their employers can also use the site.

Only about 18 percent of eastern Kentuckians said they frequently heard about kynect, with only 53 percent hearing of it somewhat or very little. Nearly 28 percent said they heard nothing at all about kynect. The numbers are said to be comparable to the state’s overall knowledge of kynect.

On a positive note, Kentucky’s smooth and successful launch of kynect was praised in comparison to the federal government’s glitch-ridden debut for healthcare.gov.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653. For Twitter updates, follow @lanabellamy_DI.

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