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Kentucky’s State Strategies for Improving Medicaid


Expanding access to qualified healthcare was the key condition of the state Medicaid program, and Kentucky was among the first country’s states to implement the terms of this reform (Benitez, Creel, & Jennings, 2016). One of the basic provisions was to provide freer access to health insurance services since far from all citizens could afford to receive relevant documents and draw up insurance agreements (Benitez et al., 2016). The need to systematize the rules regarding access to the services of doctors led to the corresponding reform of the healthcare system, which was adopted in Kentucky.

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Adoption of the Reform

The comprehensive adoption of the Kentucky health insurance program took place in 2014, and the state government initiated the implementation of this policy. The reasons for approving the new conditions were sufficiently strong, and the situation required changes. As Benitez, Adams, and Seiber (2017) note, prior to implementing the reform terms, “Kentucky was among the states with the highest overall uninsured rate” (p. 1388).

In this regard, the state government supported the decision to help low-income citizens in order to provide freer conditions for the purchase of health insurance as a guarantor of access to qualified medical care. The adoption of the reform was also due to the fact that Kentucky occupied the 45th position in the ranking “among the arguably unhealthiest states in the United States” (Benitez et al., 2017, p. 1388). Therefore, the decision to update the current legislation and provide the population with an opportunity to seek help from medical specialists had a reasonable background.

Funding Structure

Financing of the new program was carried out based on the state policy of introducing new conditions of work in the healthcare system and medical insurance. In accordance with the terms of the adopted provisions, the government expects to benefit further since, as Benitez et al. (2016) argue, there is an assumption that by 2022, the authorities will be able to save about $ 294 billion by using the new conditions of the system (p. 529).

In general, the terms of the reform imply financing in accordance with the indicators of the federal poverty level. When evaluating these statistics in monetary terms, the annual income of a state citizen should not exceed $ 12,000 so that he or she could become a member of the new health insurance program. Despite its positive dynamics, the financing of the reform caused disapproval among some officials.

According to Meyer (2018), some justice authorities urge the state government “to focus its finite fiscal resources on traditional beneficiary groups such as disabled people rather than on non-disabled expansion enrollees” (para. 22). Nevertheless, despite these disagreements, the preferential conditions for obtaining documents open up quite good prospects for raising the level of health and promoting the provisions of the reform among the population.

Impact on Healthcare

The adoption of reform has a large impact on the Kentucky healthcare system. As Benitez et al. (2017) remark, low-income residents can benefit substantially from taking part in this program and realize their right to high-quality medical care. The provisions of the policy regulate the basic working conditions of medical personnel in relation to the performance of their duties and systematize the reasons for receiving assistance. Therefore, the reform in question is of great importance for the state and the entire US healthcare system.

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Benitez, J. A., Adams, E. K., & Seiber, E. E. (2017). Did health care reform help Kentucky address disparities in coverage and access to care among the poor? Health Services Research, 53(3), 1387-1406. Web.

Benitez, J. A., Creel, L., & Jennings, J. A. (2016). Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion showing early promise on coverage and access to care. Health Affairs, 35(3), 528-534. Web.

Meyer, H. (2018). Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement faces reckoning in court. Modern Healthcare. Web.

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