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US Government Ok's Dismantling Kentucky Health Exchange

Federal officials have approved Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's plan to dismantle the state health exchange.  The exchange, known as kynect, was launched in 2013 and has been a way for Kentucky residents to shop for health insurance or enroll in Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. After Nov. 1, people in Kentucky will use the federal health exchange to find coverage.

The Courier-Journal said the approval was given Tuesday, but Andrew Slavitt of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department says the agency is concerned about the transition's impact on those who gained coverage through kynect. Slavitt said in a letter to Bevin that it's important the transition be clearly explained to consumers.

Bevin, a Republican, vowed to dismantle the health initiatives of previous Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat who took full advantage of federal health care law.

Beshear, the founder of the non-profit group Save Kentucky Healthcare released the following statement in reaction to the announcement:

“This morning, HHS granted approval for Gov. Bevin to transition kynect, Kentucky’s successful state-based exchange to a federal platform, but not without warning him about the high risk of user delays, gaps in coverage, and anticipated confusion as Kentuckians attempt to adjust to a more complicated system. HHS acknowledged the successes of kynect, which has helped more than 500,000 Kentuckians gain access to insurance for the first time over the past three years, and study after study has found the current system sustainable and affordable. It is disappointing that Gov. Bevin is once again putting his rigid right wing ideology ahead of the health and well-being of Kentuckians.“

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