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Second Open Enrollment For Kynect Starts Saturday

The next open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act begins Saturday.

Eligible Kentuckians will have three months to purchase a private health insurance plan with the help of a federal discount.

Kentuckians can use kynect, the state's health insurance exchange, to purchase their plans. They can also use kynect to sign up for Medicaid.

This will be the second open enrollment period under the new federal health care law. In the first enrollment period, more than 521,000 people either purchased or signed up for health insurance through kynect.

Below is a Q&A about what you need to know about the new enrollment period, which begins Saturday and ends Feb. 15, 2015:

Q. How can I apply for health insurance?

A. You have several options. You can visit kynect.ky.gov and apply online. You can visit the kynect retail store at the Fayette Mall in Lexington. Or you can talk to one of the 2,800 certified insurance agents across the state who are authorized to sell insurance plans through kynect. A list of those agents can be found at kynect.ky.gov. Kynect also has a mobile phone app for Apple and Android devices. You cannot purchase or sign up for insurance with the app, but you can learn about your eligibility for Medicaid and federal subsidies.

Q. I signed up for Medicaid last year through kynect. Do I have to sign up again?

A. No. Your coverage will continue. However, you can use kynect if you want to use a different Medicaid managed care organization or if your household income has changed.

Q. I purchased a private insurance plan through kynect last year. Do I have to sign up again?

A. No. If you do nothing, you will be automatically re-enrolled. However, premiums for the existing plans will change. Rate filings indicate plans with Kentucky Health Cooperative could increase an average of 20 percent while plans with Humana could increase an average of 12.8 percent. But premiums depend on a variety of factors, including your age, location and smoking status. Plus, two new insurance companies will be selling plans on the exchange this year. State officials are encouraging people to check the rates to see if you might get a better deal.

Q. How can I qualify for a discount on my insurance plan?

A. It all depends on how much you make. If you are purchasing an individual plan, you have to earn $46,680 a year or less to qualify for a discount. For families of four, household incomes of up to $95,400 per year can receive a discount.

Q. How can I qualify for Medicaid?

A. Again, it all depends on how much you make. Individuals who make less than $15,856 per year are eligible for Medicaid. Families of four who make less than $32,499 are also eligible. Households of eight that earn less than $54,690 per year are eligible for Medicaid.

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