Beshear issues order to create health exchanges to be run out of health cabinet

07/17/2012 01:16 PM

Kentucky’s health benefit exchange — an offshoot of the federal Affordable Care Act — will be run out of the state’s Health and Family Services Cabinet and will be overseen by an advisory panel of 11 members, the governor announced through an executive order Tuesday.

Gov. Steve Beshear officially created the exchange through the order Tuesday afternoon shortly after 1 p.m. After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the federal health care law last month, Beshear the exchanges were in the process of being set up.

However, the legislature’s capitol projects and bond oversight committee at its 1 p.m. meeting rejected the administration’s request for the leasing of a new building for the exchange largely because lawmakers weren’t briefed on the creation of the exchange and were caught unaware.

Beshear’s order says the state-operated exchange will match up Kentuckians without health insurance with coverage. It will be funded with $66.4 million in federal grants Kentucky already received for the effort, which is meant to bridge the gap for uninsured Kentuckians who don’t have health coverage through their employers but earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid.

“The development and operation of the Kentucky Exchange will be funded entirely with federal dollars until Jan. 1, 2015, after which the Exchange will be wholly funded with revenues it generates,” according to Beshear’s statement accompanying the executive order.

The exchange will be operated out of the Health and Family Services Cabinet in Frankfort and led by Carrie Banahan as the executive director of the office of Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange.

Banahan has been serving as the cabinet’s executive director of policy.

In addition, the exchange will be overseen by an advisory board of 11 members, according to Beshear’s order.

You can download the order here: Executive Order – Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange 7 17 12.pdf

The Affordable Care Act outlined the exchanges. And the federal government would run the exchanges in states that choose not to set them up and run them. Beshear’s statement said groups such as the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Hospital Association and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield “have expressed that the commonwealth, not the federal government, should operate the exchange for the state.”

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