Beshear Creates Health Insurance Exchange In Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. - After weeks of promising to do so, Governor Steve Beshear has set up a state-run health insurance exchange in Kentucky.

The insurance exchange is a key component of the Affordable Care Act.   States are required to set up marketplaces in which residents can purchase private insurance or sign up for Medicaid.   If states don't, the federal government will do so for them, and Beshear has long said he doesn’t want the federal government to run the exchange.

Through an executive order issued Tuesday, Beshear is also creating a new executive branch office, the Office of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. The new office will be housed in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

According to a release, the exchange will be funded with federal dollars until 2015. From then on, the governor expects the exchange to pay for itself.

The executive order also sets up an 11-person advisory board to oversee the exchange. Its members will appointed by mid-August. More than a dozen other states have begun setting up their exchanges.