Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has issued an executive order to establish the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange as required by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the governor's office announced July 17.
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the exchange will act as an online marketplace for individuals to enroll in qualified health coverage plans, which will be offered through federal or state programs such as Medicaid and the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program, the governor's office said in a statement.
The service also can help employers with the process of enrolling their workers in plans and help small businesses with the process of qualifying for tax credits, the governor's office said in the statement.
"Since the Supreme Court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, Kentuckians who have had difficulty finding or qualifying for affordable health coverage will be able to do so by visiting the state's online Health Benefit Exchange," said Gov. Beshear in the statement. "We will work closely with insurers, providers, consumers and other groups to develop a robust, responsive, and user-friendly portal that will help Kentuckians find the coverage that best suits their needs."
To plan and implement the project, the state has received three exchange grants totaling $66.4 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The newly formed Office of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, which has been established with these grants, will oversee the exchange and be housed within the state's Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Carrie Banahan has been appointed to serve as the office's executive director. She is the executive director of the Office of Health Policy and will continue in that position until a permanent replacement is named.