Insurance exchange grows into $39.5M operation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Federal health care reforms have led to the creation of a government agency in Kentucky that will be comparable in staffing to the secretary of state's office with 30 employees - but it also has scores of contract workers and an annual budget more than 10 times larger, at $39.5 million.

The Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange will help more than 600,000 uninsured Kentuckians arrange coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Kentucky officials brag they'll do it on the cheap, compared with what states that opted to be part of a federally operated insurance exchange will pay.

The federal government is proposing a 3.5 percent fee on insurance premiums to operate exchanges for states that didn't create their own. Kentucky is proposing using an existing 1 percent fee on insurance.

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