KY Policy Blog

Raising Minimum Wage Would Reduce Spending on Medicaid

By Dustin Pugel
December 4, 2015

Those advocating to scale back Kentucky’s highly-successful Medicaid expansion cite a concern about its cost to the state. One way to help buffer costs would be to raise the minimum wage in Kentucky to $10.10 per hour, which would reduce the state’s spending on Medicaid by an estimated $34 million each year according to research by the Center for American Progress.

An increase of the minimum wage to $10.10 would directly impact an estimated 304,000 Kentucky workers, 16,700 of whom would see their earnings increase to the point that they read more

Shutting Down Kynect Would Take Money From Other Important Priorities

By Kenny Colston
November 23, 2015

According to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, it will cost at least $23 million to dismantle Kynect, the state’s insurance marketplace. Using those funds to end the program would mean taking money from other important priorities.

Saving Kynect FINAL

Click to enlarge infographic read more

8 Reasons Kentucky Shouldn’t DisKynect

By Jason Bailey
November 11, 2015

Kynect, the state’s health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act, is widely viewed as a national model for its functionality and success in getting people signed up for health coverage.

Here are some of the major reasons Kentucky should keep Kynect rather than shutting it down and transitioning to the federal exchange over the next year:

Kynect works really well. Unlike the federal exchange, the designers of Kynect created a simple and user-friendly system that from the beginning proved effective in getting people signed up for coverage. Kynect read more

Eastern Kentucky the Big Winner in Insurance Gains, but Rise in Poverty Shows Work to Be Done

By Jason Bailey
September 17, 2015

New Census data released yesterday showed Kentucky led the nation in its drop in the share of people who are uninsured.  More detailed Census data released today shows it’s in Appalachian Kentucky where the biggest gains were seen.

The state as a whole saw its uninsured rate fall from 14.3 percent in 2013 to 8.5 percent in 2014, a gain of 5.8 percentage points. Among congressional districts, the biggest drop was in eastern Kentucky’s 5th district, where the rate fell 8.7 percentage points — from 17.1 percent in 2013 to read more

Indiana Approach to Medicaid Expansion Limits Access to Needed Care

By Ashley Spalding
August 26, 2015

The “Indiana model” for Medicaid expansion has recently been held up as a possible alternative for Kentucky, with supporters arguing that Medicaid recipients should have more “skin in the game” by paying premiums and co-pays for services. However, such an approach could prevent low-income people from getting the care they need — making health problems costlier down the road and creating barriers to sustaining the health coverage gains Kentucky has made in recent years.

Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion has been very successful. It has provided health coverage for more than 400,000 read more

10 Reasons to Celebrate Medicaid’s 50th Birthday

By Kenny Colston
July 30, 2015

50 years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed the law creating Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and elderly. In lieu of big cakes with candles, here are 10 reasons why Medicaid should last for at least another 50 years, based in part on a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

1. It provides health coverage to 947,100 people in our state.

That’s nearly 1 in 4 Kentuckians who can get the care they need for themselves or their children without being pushed into or read more

Visual: Medicaid Expansion Helps, Not Hurts, State Budget

By Kenny Colston
May 7, 2015

Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Kentucky expanded Medicaid eligibility to those with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty line — or $32,900 for a family of four in 2014. More than 310,000 Kentuckians were enrolled in the Medicaid expansion by the end of 2014. According to an independent study, the expansion will help create jobs, new tax revenue and significant savings in the state budget, as shown below. You can read a more detailed analysis of the study here.

read more

New Gallup Poll Shows Kentucky Now a Leading State in Insurance Coverage

By Ashley Spalding
February 24, 2015

Kentucky is a standout state in reducing the share of people without health insurance, rocketing from 39th to 11th among the states in its rate of uninsured according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll shows that Kentucky’s uninsured rate dropped from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 9.8 percent in 2014; even better than a midyear estimate from Gallup of 11.9 percent. Kentucky had the second sharpest one-year reduction in uninsurance rates for adults in the nation.

new gallup poll health insurance feb 2015 table.docx

A big reason for Kentucky ranking so high is the state’s decision to read more

Independent Study Says Medicaid Expansion a Good Deal for Kentucky’s Economy

By Ashley Spalding
February 12, 2015

In recent months, some have expressed concern that the cost of Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion may exceed its benefits—especially in light of greater than expected participation by low-income Kentuckians. However, a new independent report from Deloitte and the University of Louisville’s Urban Studies Institute shows that a net positive fiscal benefit to Kentucky is still anticipated because greater enrollment also means higher than projected job creation from more federal dollars flowing in to the state.

The report shows that a total of 310,000 Kentuckians enrolled in the Medicaid expansion in 2014 read more

Aspects of Heroin Bills Would Increase State Costs But Have Little Expected Impact on Crime

By Ashley Spalding
February 4, 2015

Amid Kentucky’s heroin crisis, a number of bills have been filed for the 2015 legislative session to address the problem. However, some aspects of what is being proposed would work against the corrections reforms passed in 2011—increasing the state’s prison population and costs while having little expected impact on crime.

Kentucky passed the “Public Safety and Offender Accountability Act” (HB 463) in 2011 in response to the growing recognition that mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes have cost Kentucky—and other states—a lot of money and have not necessarily led to read more