Local News
11:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Kentucky's Health Insurance Marketplace Back Online After Experiencing Technical Problems

UPDATE: 3:50 pm: Kentucky officials says the technical issues have been fixed and the state's online health insurance exchange known as kynect (sounds like 'connect') is up and running.

"The Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange system was thoroughly tested prior to Oct. 1, however, the issue discovered today could not be replicated within the test environment," officials say.

Activity on kynect as of 2:30 p.m. Oct. 1 (info from Cabinet for Health and Family Services)

  • The kynect website had 57,625 unique visitors; viewing close to 600,000 web pages.
  • Our Contact Center fielded over 3,000 calls (3,243) and 110 e-mails. They also completed 103 online chats
  • 52,095 people conducted pre-screenings to find out what they might qualify for
  • Close to 2,000 applications have been started (1,235 completed) on the website and via insurance agents. 

UPDATE: 1:10 pm: Kentucky is among the states that have experienced technical glitches on the first day online health insurance marketplaces opened under the federal Affordable Care Act—also known as Obamacare.

Officials say by 9:30 Tuesday morning the state had already processed more than 1,000 applications and thousands more Kentuckians went online to the “kynect” website to browse insurance options.

That traffic volume has caused login issues, officials say.

“We have an IT command center fully staffed who are working diligently to iron out any issues. People can continue to browse the site, but we encourage any visitors who experience problems to check back later to begin their application process,” said Gwenda Bond, a spokeswoman with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Health insurance exchanges are a major part of the law and allow the uninsured to shop for  coverage while companies compete for business. Those who use Kentucky's Healthcare Connection will also be able to find out if they qualify for subsidies or expanded Medicaid.

Kentucky’s exchange is expected to serve nearly 640,000 uninsured Kentuckians, many of which are expected to receive discounts on health insurance through either state subsidies and discounts or expanded Medicaid.

In Jefferson County, officials say the number of uninsured is over 100,000.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says there will be issues that come up as local governments begin implementing their health insurance exchanges, but he says it’s important that lawmakers push forward to improve healthcare in the country.

“This is like any big project or program that you roll out. It’s not going to be perfect from day one. But I would hope the good will of the people in our country and our elected officials would come together to make it work,” he says.

Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson says Kentucky will continue pushing the online exchange to inform the pubic during the enrollment period through March 31.

“We will be all over you. I mean we’re going to blanket this in every way we can to be sure that folks get the information, take advantage of it, receive the coverage and ultimately sleep soundly at night,” he says.

Maryland and the federally run exchange have also experienced technical glitches.

We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.

Original Post:

Kentucky officials say at least 24,000 people have gone onto the state's online health insurance exchange, which has caused some technical glitches that are being worked on.

Today was the opening day for health insurance marketplaces around the country. As of 9:30 this morning, the state's kynect website had processed at least 1,000 claims, officials say.

Kentucky's health insurance exchange is part of the federal Affordable Care Act—also known as Obamacare—and is meant to act as a marketplace for healthcare plans for the uninsured.

In Kentucky, an estimated 640,000 residents don't have insurance and officials say a majority of those will be eligible for either subsidies or Medicaid under the state's expansion.

The message on the website currently reads:

Commonwealth of Kentucky citizens have shown tremendous response to KYNECT since we established our marketplace. The KYNECT Website is currently experiencing log in issues and our technical team is working to resolve the problem. While we work on resolving the problem please browse the KYNECT website to view Medicaid offerings, Health Insurance Plans, and other useful information. Thank you for your patience and continued support.

Other states like Maryland and even the federal government's online health exchange are also experiencing high volume problems, according to reports from The New York Times.

Kentucky officials say they hope to have the issue resolved by the end of the day.

We'll provide you updates as they become available.