Kentucky establishes new agency to manage health insurance exchange
While many states throughout the U.S. have decided to abandon their efforts concerning a health insurance exchange, Kentucky is one of the few that has decided to build and operate its own. State officials chose for the state to run its own exchange in the hopes that it will better address some of the health insurance concerns that are specific to Kentucky residents. State officials have now formed the Office of the Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange, a new agency that will oversee the operation of the state’s health insurance exchange program.
Agency boasts of $40 million annual budget
This agency will boast of 30 employees, but several hundred contract workers and insurance agents throughout the state. This agency is notably different from others in the state, largely because of its annual budget, which comes in at nearly $40 million. These funds cover the operational costs of the state’s health insurance exchange and the administrative costs of the agency itself, with surplus to account for any catastrophic issues that the exchange may experience in the future.
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Health insurance to be accessible to 600,000 people
State officials expect that the exchange system will help more than 600,000 residents throughout the state gain access to health insurance coverage. Many of these people do not have insurance currently, and Kentucky officials believe that this is primarily due to the high costs of coverage for some individuals and families. Kentucky officials aim to address these issues through the exchange. Much of the initial funding that is required for the exchange to take form is being provided by the federal government.
Health insurance exchange to help boost state revenue
The state will impose a 1% fee on all health insurance policies sold through the exchange. This will account for some $50 million in annual revenue for the state. The federal government plans to impose a 3% fee on insurance policies it sells through exchanges it operates throughout the country. State officials have noted that another reason the state has chosen to operate its own health insurance exchange is to avoid potentially paying to help cover the costs of federal exchanges that are being built elsewhere in the U.S.