Nearly 1/3 Of Kentuckians Uninsured Says Report

by Gabe Bullard on April 7, 2009

The healthcare advocacy group Families USA has released a new report that says nearly one third of Kentuckians under 65 were without insurance at some point during 2007 and 2008.

The report put Kentucky’s uninsured rate during the period at 32 percent. The national rate was 33.1 percent, and Indiana’s was 29 percent.

Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack says that’s unacceptable. He suggests the government step in to help them obtain coverage.

“One of the things that we’re hoping Congress will do and that we know President Obama supports is to predicate Medicaid eligibility need not on need plus family status,” he says.

Pollack says Medicaid does not adequately cover single people and childless couples. He also suggests the government provide subsidies to people just above the poverty line so they can pay insurance premiums.

“We’ve got to make sure that those people who can’t afford coverage can gain subsidies so that people on a sliding-scale basis can get help with the premiums that they otherwise can’t afford on their own,” he says.

Pollack says Massachussets has implemented a similar program.

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