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Ensuring equal justice for all Kentuckians

Kentucky Equal Justice Center is a non-profit poverty law advocacy center

January 11, 2017

Kentuckians do not support proposed changes to Medicaid

Two out of three registered voters in Kentucky say Medicaid should be left as is instead of scaled back to cover fewer people. A similar number oppose six-month lockout periods for Medicaid participants who fail to report income changes within ten days.

In 2016, the Bevin administration filed an 1115 Medicaid waiver proposal that would reduce the number of people enrolled and introduce lockout penalties. A new Mason-Dixon poll shows that both components are unpopular across party lines, gender, age groups and region. Opposition is strongest in Eastern Kentucky and among voters under 35. Read the full report here.

KEJC director Rich Seckel says, “People understand the difference between bureaucracy and opportunity. The results suggest people saw the plan as creating barriers to health care.”

This poll isn’t the first sign the proposed changes to Medicaid are unpopular. Over 1,800 commenters weighed in on the plan in 2016 and almost 1,200 on proposed changes in 2017. The vast majority of them expressed concern over the impact on access to health care for low-income Kentuckians. The new poll shows that the concerns expressed in those comments are shared widely across the state.

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Reclama Tus Derechos: KEJC on the radio

Do you need health coverage? Do you have insurance but are you unsure how to use it? Listen to KEJC’s radio show, Reclama Tus Derechos, and learn more about managing your family’s health care costs. Reclama Tus Derechos is KEJC’s Spanish radio show on El Pulso Latino, 95.7 FM. The show airs Fridays at 9 am and Mondays at 4 pm. Previous episodes are available online.
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Miranda Brown & McKenzie Cantrell

Since October 2017, Outreach Coordinator Miranda Brown and Employment Attorney McKenzie Cantrell have been bringing important workers’ rights information to the radio. Topics covered include discrimination, unions and wage and hour laws. Now, the show is expanding to look at health care. Miranda will be joined by AmeriCorps VISTA Corinna Svarlien to discuss Medicaid, Qualified Health Plans and options for the uninsured. Topics will include choosing the right doctor, understanding insurance costs and when to go the ER. The first episode in the health care series will air January 12, 2018. The episode will cover how to begin the new year with a new plan and how to file health care tax forms.

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday morning at 9:00! If you miss a show, you can catch it again Monday at 4 pm. Listen to 95.7 FM or stream the show online at Find the podcast on SoundCloud.

A strong open enrollment period despite challenges

2017 was a challenging year for families trying to get health coverage.
Health numbers 2017.jpgUncertainty in Congress left consumers confused and a shorter open enrollment period meant less time to find coverage. Outreach Coordinator Miranda Brown was there to help. Miranda is an application assister, which means she can help people navigate getting covered. She’s filed hundreds of applications and knows the secrets to making the process go as smoothly as possible. She can find subsidies, file paperwork and troubleshoot any problems. It always helps to have a knowledgeable ally on your side.

Miranda uses community partnerships to reach vulnerable populations.
At the New Life Day Center, she meets with Kentuckians facing
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Outreach Coordinator Miranda Brown tabling

homelessness and housing insecurity. She also works with sexually
exploited women through Natalie’s Sisters. She holds office hours at the Village Branch Library, which serves a large Latino population.

In 2017 Miranda helped 164 Kentuckians get health coverage. That includes 43 Kentuckians experiencing homelessness, 30 sexually exploited women, 39 immigrant individuals and families and 17 inmates approaching reentry into their communities.

Despite the new barriers, enrollment in Kentucky was up compared to 2017! Remember, If you qualify for a special enrollment period or are
eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to apply for health coverage now.
Call Miranda Brown for more information: (800) 699-0805

KEJC's Cassie Chambers in the Herald Leader

Cassie joined KEJC as a Skadden Fellow in December, 2017. A recent Harvard Law graduate, she spent the last year as an
attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Louisville. Cassie’s work in the Louisville area showed her the many barriers low-income
Cassie Chambers
Kentuckians face in accessing the court system. Those experiences are now informing Cassie’s new project with KEJC, the access to justice initiative.

Cassie presented some of the problems she plans on tackling in a recent op-ed for the Lexington Herald Leader. In the piece, Cassie describes a client she represented in a divorce case involving domestic violence. The woman was able to get free representation from Legal Aid, but was forced to pay the legal fees of her husband because he was incarcerated. The fact that he was in jail for assaulting her wasn’t enough to stop the court from putting the financial burden on her. Cassie writes, “Incarcerated people should have fair and adequate representation, even in civil matters. The issue is about who should bear the cost of this system.”

Read the full op-ed at the Herald Leader and keep an eye on this page for updates on the access to justice initiative.

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KEJC Workers' Rights Task Force Meeting, May 16, 2017

Kentucky Equal Justice Center
201 West Short Street, Suite 310
Lexington, KY 40507