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Family Health Centers CEO Concerned about Potential Changes to Kentucky's Medicaid Expansion

Phalinn Ooi/Creative Commons

Gov. Matt Bevin took office Dec. 8 and has already made a mark on issues ranging from marriage licenses to voting rights. Up next may be the future of Kynect, the state's health insurance marketplace, and the Medicaid expansion.

Soon after winning election, Bevin said he intended to dismantle the exchange. He also said he wants to roll back the Medicaid expansion, citing the estimated $409 million annual cost that the state would have to start paying in 2020.

A likely result is that the more than 400,000 Kentuckians who gained health insurance through the Medicaid expansion may be required to pick up part of the tab for their benefits.

No matter how they're implemented, the changes to how the federal Affordable Care Act is implemented in Kentucky will have wide ramifications for Medicaid beneficiaries and health care providers.

WFPL News recently spoke to Bill Wagner, chief executive of the Louisville-based non-profit Family Health Centers Inc., about how implementation of the Affordable Care Act has benefited his organization and the people who rely on it for health care.

One option for Medicaid is to transition to a system similar to Indiana's, where people on the program are required to contribute to the costs.

"We're afraid that with the implementation of a plan like the Indiana plan, we will see a reduction in the number of those who have Medicaid coverage and an increase in the number of uninsured and an increase in the uncompensated care that we provide," Wagner said.