FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 15, 2012) — Gov. Steve Beshear has re-confirmed his plans to create a state health insurance exchange, this time telling the federal government of his intention.
Beshear sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Tuesday saying he plans to issue an executive order soon to create the exchange, The Courier-Journal reports. After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal health-care reform law, Beshear announced he would create the exchange.
The exchange will be a marketplace to shop for different packages of state-approved health insurance and will be available to people who earn up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. To offset the cost of their premiums, those participating in the exchange will receive subsidies in the form of tax credits. The Medicaid program will also fall under the exchange’s umbrella.
If they choose to run their own exchange rather than have the federal government do it for them, states must have it up and running by Jan. 1, 2014. Beshear said Kentucky has been “systematically preparing to meet the implementation deadlines set forth in the law.” It has already received more than $65 million from the federal government to plan for the exchange’s creation.
Kentucky is the 16th state to commit to creating an exchange.
Kentucky Health News is a service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.