The Affordable Care Act creates an unprecedented opportunity to improve child health in multiple capacities and provide health coverage to the more than 600,000 Kentuckians who are now uninsured. Thousands of children have already experienced positive impacts from the Affordable Care Act, yet the opportunity exists for children to experience more positive impacts in the coming years.
Here are a few of the major wins for kids in the Affordable Care Act:
- Prohibits children from being denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition;
- Provides for free preventive health services such as well-child exams under health plans;
- Allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and former foster care youth to stay on Medicaid until age 26; and
- Supports home visitation programs to encourage healthy home environments for parents and their babies.
Kentucky leaders are moving forward in implementing the law. In July 2012, Governor Beshear issued an Executive Order creating the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, which is an online place where individuals and businesses can buy health insurance. kynect, Kentucky’s exchange launched on October 1, 2013 and already is a great success.
- Kentucky Youth Advocates serves on the Health Benefit Exchange Advisory Board appointed by Governor Beshear to oversee the creation of the exchange. We worked to ensure that the new system was affordable and easy to navigate for families. kynect went live for open enrollment October 1, 2013. You can find out if you or your family is eligible for Medicaid, discounted insurance, or other private insurance by visiting https://kyenroll.ky.gov/.
- Kentucky Youth Advocates worked hard with our coalition partners at Kentucky Voices for Health on a campaign to encourage Governor Beshear to expand Medicaid up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level for low-income adults as this will provide coverage for many parents. We applaud Governor Beshear for opting to expand Medicaid in the summer of 2013. Click here to read our brief on how Kentucky children will benefit from Medicaid expansion.