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Additional funding awarded for contractors to help with health care coverage [Lexington Herald-Leader]

By Mary Meehan, Lexington Herald-Leader
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Nov. 02--The entire state is now being served by people hired to help folks learn about, or sign up for, health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange announced Friday three grants that will cover the Medicaid regions where contracts had not been finalized.

Because of the funding, contractors will be hired to help residents and small businesses determine their health plan needs and assist them in choosing plans to meet those needs.

Community Action Kentucky was awarded $700,000 to cover Medicaid region 4, which is the southern part of the state, and $850,000 to serve the Central Kentucky counties in region 5, which includes Fayette and 20 other counties.

A $600,000 grant was awarded to the Kentucky Primary Care Association to serve Pike and surrounding counties in region 8 in Eastern Kentucky.

In August, contracts of approximately $3.4 million were awarded to Community Action Kentucky for regions 1, 2, 6 and 7 and $937,982 to the Kentuckiana Regional Planning Development Agency for Region 3.

The navigators are part of the state insurance program, KyNect, created as part of the federal health care program, which requires every American to sign up for health insurance or face a penalty.

Kentuckians can sign up at kynect.ky.gov or call 1-855-459-6328. The deadline to sign up for insurance is March 31, 2014. Enrollment began Oct. 1.

Kentucky's program has been widely praised, although experts said fulfilling the requirements for these navigators was an important step.

Kentucky Medicaid regions

Region 1: Ballard, Calloway, Caldwell, Carlisle, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Lyon, McCracken

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Region 2: Christian, Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Todd, Trigg, Union, Webster

Region 3: Bullitt, Carroll, Hardin, Henry, Jefferson, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble, Washington

Region 4: Adair, Allen, Barren, Butler, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Green, Hart, Logan, McCreary, Monroe, Pulaski, Russell, Taylor, Warren, Wayne

Region 5: Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jackson, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Montgomery, Nicholas, Owen, Powell, Rockcastle, Scott, Woodford

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Region 6: Boone, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Pendleton

Region 7: Bath, Boyd, Bracken, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lawrence, Lewis, Mason, Menifee, Morgan, Robertson, Rowan

Region 8: Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Whitley, Wolfe.

Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: BluegrassMoms.com.

___

(c)2013 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)

Visit the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.) at www.kentucky.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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