Kentucky received $57.9 million Wednesday to help set up a health insurance exchange or marketplace — though lawmakers have made no move to make that happen. Kentucky is one of 10 states to receive this latest round of federal insurance exchange establishment funds, which totals $230 million. Of these 10 states, Kentucky received the highest sum by several million.
Of the 10 latest states to receive grants, seven of them have adopted a plan or made substantial headway, reports Richardo Alonso-Zaldivar for The Associated Press. In the exchange, considered one of the cornerstones of the new health care law, individuals and employees of small businesses can choose from several plans whose benefits coverage packages have been pre-approved by the state and federal governments.
So far, 30 states and the District and Columbia have received grants. Of those, only 13 and the District of Columbia have adopted a plan for how to proceed. States have until Jan. 1, 2013.
"Kentucky has not determined whether it will establish a health benefit exchange in light of challenges to the Affordable Care Act and the lack of federal guidance and a tangible federal exchange model to consider," said Kerry Richardson, communications director for the Office of Gov. Steve Beshear, said at the end of January. "However, impending ACA deadlines require considerable planning, evaluation, design and development of systems to address exchange issues whether the state or the federal government operates the exchange, and we are engaged in those efforts."
In September 2010, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services' Office of Health Policy received a $1 million exchange planning grant. In August, it received another $7.7 million to fund information technology systems. No bill has been introduced that would establish a state-based health insurance exchange so far. (Read more)