During his gubernatorial campaign last year, Matt Bevin frequently pledged to shut down the state’s health insurance exchange Kynect.
On Wednesday, Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson presented a comprehensive plan to make good on Gov. Bevin’s promise. Glisson, along with her deputy secretary Tim Feeley and Bevin’s deputy chief of staff Adam Meyer laid out what might be the beginning of the end of Kynect.
In their testimony before a House budget review subcommittee, Glisson said dismantling Kynect will have a net cost of $236,000. That’s very different from the $23 million that has been quoted by former Gov. Steve Beshear.
The secretary also promised a seamless transition from Kynect to the new exchange website BeneFind.
Several health care providers also attended the committee meeting to present their concerns about the proposed plan. Barry Martin, CEO of Hazard-based Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky, discussed the overwhelmingly positive results he’s seen in his community since Kynect was implemented. He said his programs have expanded in several areas since Kynect launched. These include innovative testing of and nurse care coordination for diabetic patients, enhanced school-based clinical programs, and expanded behavioral health features.
Martin said these initiatives were the result of Kynect and more people having access to health care. His testimony on the success of Kynect in his community prompted Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville) to say of the exchange, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
After Glisson’s testimony on Wednesday, former Gov. Steve Beshear released this statement about the Bevin Administration’s plan (PDF document).
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