Obamacare sign-ups in county only 10 percent

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Fines loom for thousands who missed enrollment deadline

By Ben Carlson

Thousands of Anderson County residents are facing Obamacare fines now that the Dec. 23 deadline to have coverage Jan. 1 has passed.
Only 10 percent of eligible Anderson County residents law have signed up, according to information released last week by Gov. Steve Beshear’s office, leaving 90 percent of them faced with paying fines equal to 1 percent of their income or $95, whichever is higher.
When the Affordable Care Act took effect at the beginning of last October, state officials estimated that 3,116 (16.7 percent) Anderson County residents didn’t have health insurance either because they couldn’t afford it or refused to purchase it.
Of that number, just over half (1,836) were eligible for the state’s expanded Medicaid, a component of Obamacare that is fully funded by taxpayers.
As of last week, only 314 people in Anderson County had enrolled in Obamacare, with 221 of that number enrolling in expanded Medicaid.
The statewide percentage was a little higher, with about 100,000 of the estimated 640,000 people eligible signing up. Roughly 75,000 signed up for expanded Medicaid, leaving only 25,000 Kentuckians actually signing up for Obamacare.
Although the deadline to have coverage as of Jan. 1 has passed, state officials said enrollees have until March 31 to sign up for coverage in 2014.
Here, there were a total of 34 people signed up who will not receive a taxpayer-subsidy to pay for their insurance, and 59 who will.
Of the 221 who signed up for expanded Medicaid, 23 are under 18.
Young people, typically referred to as “invincibles” by the media, were supposed to be a key to making Obamacare affordable.
In Anderson County the opposite has happened.
Locally, only seven people between 18 and 25 have signed up for Obamacare, and 29 have signed up for expanded Medicaid.
Those between the ages of 55 and 64 are the largest group of enrollees at 81. People ages 45-54 is next with 64 and those 35-44 are third at 62.