Dead people can sign up for health care in Kentucky

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Obamacare can help dead people, too.

This is apparent in Kentucky, where application forms for the state’s new Obamacare benefit exchange asks if the application is for someone who has recently died.

Question 39 on the kynect: Kentucky’s Healthcare Connection printable application form for a single person health seeking either coverage or help paying costs, states: “If you are filling out this application on behalf of a person who recently passed away, enter the deceased person’s date of death.”

“This is for Medicaid — it will pay three prior months of medical expenses for the eligible,” Gwenda Bond, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, told The Daily Caller on Friday. “It also allows us to prevent fraud by noting the date of death, time-limited benefits.”

The state’s health benefit exchange, kynect: Kentucky’s Healthcare Connection, will “help more than 600,000 uninsured Kentuckians get coverage through private insurance plans or Medicaid and the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP),” according to Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear’s office.

Open enrollment for those wanting to purchase health insurance through kynect began this week.

Bond explained that the application question is required by federal Medicaid regulations and isn’t unique to Kentucky. “Eligibility guidelines that allow health expenses to be paid for individuals who died while eligible for Medicaid benefits — but without being enrolled at the time of death — are among those federal guidelines,” she said.

The question is part of the application because “Kentucky’s exchange was designed as a single one-stop shop application for determining eligibility for Medicaid or for subsidies to purchase private insurance,” Bond said.

“Noting the date of death allows an extra safeguard to prevent fraudulent applications being filed in a deceased individuals name in the future,” she said. “Certified Application Counselors and others who currently assist needy families in obtaining Medicaid coverage for eligible loved ones will use this same system.”

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