Kentucky’s Democratic governor says implementing the Affordable Care Act is “the morally right thing to do.”
Kentucky is the only southern state both expanding Medicaid and operating a state-based health exchange.
Appearing Thursday on the national radio show "The Takeaway," Governor Steve Beshear said Kentucky can’t afford not to do it.
“We have some of the worst health statistics in the country," explained Beshear. "If there’s some way I can attack that and change the course of history in Kentucky on health care, I’m going to do it, and the Affordable Care Act gives me a historic opportunity and a tool to do just that.”
A call center opens today with five-dozen agents on hand to answer questions about Kentucky’s new health care benefit exchange. Kentucky is ramping up its effort to ensure health coverage for more than 600,000 Kentucky residents.
“They are actually taking phone calls from folks that are calling in asking questions about connect,” said Kerri Banahan, director of the exchange office. “And through connect individuals will be able to apply for Medicaid as well as premium assistance which will help them pay for part of their premium amount with a private health insurance company.”
Banahan says some 70 calls came in Thursday, a day before the official launch of the call center. Open enrollment for the new insurance program begins in October.