Bluegrass, Horses, and 655,000 Uninsured Kentuckians

By Guest Blogger

The following blog was written by Jodi Mitchell, Executive Director of Kentucky Voices for Health (KVH).

As they say at the Kentucky Derby, “At the Post, then they’re off!”  

Kentucky stakeholders, under the banner of Enroll Kentucky, came together last Thursday to share, learn, and strategically plan how to make enrollment easier and ensure that all Kentuckians know about and enroll in coverage. Building on shared best practices, Enroll Kentucky participants are united in their efforts to promote and facilitate enrollment by

  •  Identifying, adapting, and disseminating best practices for driving enrollment
  • Encouraging adoption of effective enrollment systems
  • Expanding awareness of how Kentuckians can enroll in and keep health coverage
  •  Acting as a source of useful information for Kentuckians seeking health insurance coverage

Kentucky Voices for Health (KVH) originally convened this informal group of stakeholders alongside the launch of Enroll America in September 2011. The goal was to create a collaborative dialogue in order to simplify the health coverage enrollment process at the state level. As with Enroll America’s national partners, many in the room last week represented organizations and constituencies with different opinions about how to implement the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky. However, all participants recognize the importance of developing a collaborative plan to enroll Kentuckians in available coverage, both now and in the future. 

Enroll Kentucky used this meeting to set priorities and strategize for 2012. Discussion focused on three areas of interest: outreach to the uninsured, enriching consumer assistance programs, and minimizing documentation requirements for eligibility determinations. The group discussed how to share resources, experience, and knowledge in order to drive outcomes in each area. Enroll Kentucky plans to develop a consensus-based white paper that outlines the importance of broad and abundant consumer assistance options and training for those providing this assistance. The white paper will be used as a shared messaging piece with policy makers and potential partners.

It is important for coalitions like Enroll Kentucky to keep stakeholders engaged in these discussions as we move into 2013 when there will be more opportunities for coverage, and therefore a greater need for outreach and enrollment efforts. Kentucky is already known for horse racing and bluegrass—let’s make sure it’s known for successfully enrolling uninsured Kentuckians too.

Jodi Mitchell is Executive Director of Kentucky Voices for Health (KVH), a coalition of over 250 organizations and individuals who are working together to improve the health of all Kentuckians.

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