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Beshear Creates State Insurance Exchange to Implement Affordable Care Act

Governor Steve Beshear has fulfilled his promise to set up a state-run health insurance exchange in Kentucky.The Affordable Care Act requires states to set up marketplaces in which residents can purchase insurance. If states don't, the federal government will do so for them.Through an executive order, Beshear created Kentucky's exchange today. The order establishes a new executive branch office, the Office of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. The office will be housed in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.According to a release, Beshear says the exchange will be paid for by the federal government until 2015. After that, revenues created by the exchange will fund the program. "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. 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.”In addition to setting up the exchange, Beshear is also creating an 11-person advisory board to oversee the exchange. Its members will be appointed by mid-August.More than a dozen other states have begun setting up their exchanges.