LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — This fall, new insurance markets called exchanges will open in each state, marking the long-awaited and much-debated debut of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. The information was provided by Carrie Banahan, director of the Kentucky Office of the Health Benefit Exchange.
Question: How is the exchange going to be set up in Kentucky? Which agency will be responsible for overseeing it?
Answer: The Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange will be a state-operated online marketplace that will provide one-stop shopping for individuals to find health insurance. Gov. Steve Beshear created the exchange in July by executive order. The office of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange is within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Q. How far along is Kentucky in setting up an exchange? Will it be ready to start enrolling people by the October deadline?
A. Kentucky is on target for open enrollment to begin in October.
Q. How many people are uninsured in Kentucky and how many of those are projected to get insurance under the exchange?
A. According to U.S. Census Bureau figures from 2010, approximately 641,000 or 17.5 percent of Kentuckians under age 65 are uninsured.
Q. How many in Kentucky are currently served by Medicaid and how many more will be served if Kentucky chooses the Medicaid expansion?
A. More than 820,000 individuals are currently served by Medicaid. The exchange is still assessing the impact of the possible Medicaid expansion.
Q. How many small businesses are likely to take advantage of the health insurance offered on the state exchange?
A. The exchange does not have an exact number.
Q. How much money has Kentucky received so far from the federal government to do the initial work in setting up an exchange?
A. $252 million.
Q. How will Kentuckians access the exchange and what kind of customer support will be offered?
A. Kentuckians will be able to access the exchange via an online portal. There will also be individuals trained to assist others in signing up located throughout the state, as well as a paper application process, a call center and the capability of filing an application at the local Department for Community Based Services office.
Q. How many people will Kentucky's exchange employ?