Most of us say "thanks" without thinking.
FRANKFORT, Ky., Sept. 18 -- Gov. Steve Beshear, D-Ky., issued the following news release:
Governor Steve Beshear today appointed members to the Health Benefit Exchange Advisory Board that will review programmatic and policy issues and make recommendations for Kentucky's new marketplace for health insurance mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Board, originally planned to include 11 members, has now been expanded to 19.
"We need the insight and experience of a variety of Kentuckians to ensure that the Exchange not only meets the requirements of the law, but also meets the needs of Kentuckians who will be looking for affordable health insurance," said Gov. Beshear. "We expanded the number of board members to make certain that many voices contribute to this effort. This Board will also assist with keeping the project on target to meet federal deadlines, so we avoid the risk of the federal government operating the Exchange."
The health benefit exchange will facilitate the purchase and sale of health plans in the individual market; assist small employers in facilitating the enrollment of their employees in health plans; provide one-stop shopping by helping individuals enroll in health plans Medicaid and KCHIP; enable individuals to receive premium tax credits and premium subsidies; and qualify small businesses for tax credits.
Kentucky has only through the end of this year to demonstrate its readiness to run a health insurance exchange or the responsibility will default to the federal government, Gov. Beshear said.
Several interest groups representing employers, health care advocates, and citizens, including the Kentucky Hospital Association, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Voices for Health, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield have expressed that the Commonwealth should not allow the federal government to operate the exchange for Kentucky, he said.
Officials from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Department of Insurance have been working with insurers, providers, agents, consumers, employers and advocates to solicit input on the development of a Kentucky exchange.
"We are excited that Governor Beshear has appointed a knowledgeable advisory board comprised of members with a broad range of health care expertise," said Carrie Banahan, executive director of the Office of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. "We look forward to working with the board and will soon schedule our first meeting to update them on our progress and seek their input as we proceed with our plans for a state-based exchange."
Board representatives have relevant experience in health benefits administration, health care finance, health plan purchasing, health care delivery system administration, public health, or health policy related to the small group and individual markets and the uninsured.
Membership of the board representing non-state agencies will serve for staggered term limits of two or three years as designated by the Governor, to ensure the board maintains an experienced membership. Three members will serve as ex-officio representatives. The Governor also appoints the Board's chair. The appointees are:
* Deborah Moessner, of Louisville, is president and general manager at Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield. She represents insurers.
* Jeff Bringardner, of Louisville, is president of Humana Inc., Kentucky. He represents insurers.
* Carl Felix, of Frankfort, is chief operating officer at Bluegrass Family Health. He represents insurers.
* Marcus G. Woodward, of Ashland, is a health insurance broker at Woodward & Associates. He represents insurance agents.
* Connie Hauser, of Barbourville, is a physical therapist at P.T. Pros Inc. She represents non-facility based providers.
* John Thompson, of Lexington, is a dentist at Thompson, Lee & Lee P.S.C. He represents non-facility based providers.
* Dr. Michael Huang, of Lexington, is a General Internal Medicine physician at Kentucky Clinic South. He represents non-facility based providers.
* Ruth Brinkley, of Louisville, is president of KentuckyOne Health. She represents facility based healthcare providers.
* Julie Paxton, of Prestonsburg, is an attorney for Mountain Comprehensive Care Center. She represents facility based healthcare providers.
* Ed Erway, of Lexington, is chief revenue officer at University of Kentucky Healthcare. He represents facility based healthcare providers.
* Donna Ghobadi, of Lexington, is vice president of revenue cycle at Central Baptist Hospital. She represents facility based healthcare providers.
* Joe Ellis, of Benton, is an optometrist at EyeCare Associates of Kentucky. He represents small employers doing business in Kentucky.
* Gabriela Alcalde, of Louisville, is a health policy officer at Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. She represents individual purchasers of health benefit plans in Kentucky.
* David Allgood, of Louisville, is director of advocacy at the Center for Accessible Living and a member of the board of directors of Kentucky Voices for Health. He represents consumer advocates or consumer representatives.
* Andrea Bennett, of Louisville, is deputy director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. She represents consumer advocates or consumer representatives.
* Tihisha Rawlins, of Louisville, is associate state director of AARP. She represents consumer advocates or consumer representatives.
* Sharon Clark is the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance. She serves as an ex officio member. The Governor also appointed Clark as chair of the board.
* Lawrence Kissner is the Commissioner of the Department for Medicaid Services. He serves as an ex officio member.
* Stephen R. Hall is Commissioner of the Department for Behavioral Health and Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. He serves as an ex officio member.
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