The Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Office of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange (KHBE) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking for-profit and nonprofit entities and community and volunteer organizations to assist consumers who enroll for healthcare benefits through kynect, Kentucky’s Healthcare Connection. Proposals are due on July 3, 2013.
KHBE is seeking contractors with experience reaching Kentucky’s diverse populations to assist the Commonwealth in reaching the goal of expanding health benefit coverage throughout Kentucky. These contractors, called “kynectors,” will help individuals and small businesses in Kentucky determine their health plan needs and assist them in choosing plans to meet those needs.
Duties of kynectors will include conducting public education activities to raise awareness of health plans available through kynect; distributing fair and impartial information about the available health plans; facilitating enrollment in health plans; and providing referrals to any applicable offices in the event of complaints and appeals. A kynector cannot receive any compensation or benefit directly or indirectly from any health insurance issuer or issuer of stop loss insurance in connection with the enrollment of any individual or employee in a plan.
The RFP can be viewed by selecting the “Public Access” button on the procurement website and performing a keyword search for “KHBE kynector Program.”
The Affordable Care Act requires each state to create its own health benefit exchange or default to the federal government’s exchange system. Gov. Steve Beshear issued an executive order establishing the Office of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange in July 2012.
Last month, Gov. Beshear announced the launch of Kentucky’s public education and awareness efforts for the state’s health benefit exchange, called kynect: Kentucky’s Healthcare Connection. Kentuckians can visit the website at kynect.ky.gov to learn more about the program, which is expected to help more than 600,000 uninsured Kentuckians get covered by private insurance plans or Medicaid and the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP).
Open enrollment for individuals seeking to purchase insurance through kynect begins Oct. 1, 2013 and runs through March 31, 2014, with coverage beginning as soon as Jan. 1, 2014. Open enrollment for small businesses also begins Oct. 1, 2013, but businesses with 50 or fewer employees will be able to choose to enroll employees in plans offered through kynect at any point after that date.
During open enrollment, Kentuckians will be able to compare and select insurance plans and find out if they qualify for programs like Medicaid and KCHIP by using the kynect website, a toll-free contact center, a mail-in application or in person. Individuals will find out if they qualify for payment assistance and special discounts on deductibles, copays and co-insurance. kynect will also be able to assist small businesses with enrolling their employees in health plans, and businesses with fewer than 25 employees may qualify for tax credits.