- Kentucky Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Glisson revealed Wednesday the cost of moving the state to the federal health exchange would be about $240,000 — not $23 million as opponents of the plan have claimed, according to a release.
- The state will begin seeing savings in the first two years of transition, Glisson said.
- Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has promised to dismantle the state health exchange, Kynect, and transition to the federal exchange by the end of this year.
Bevin notified HHS in December of plans to move to the federal exchange, saying Kynect is not sustainable. According to data presented by the Kentucky government, Kynect has cost $330 million to date, with operational costs alone estimated to be $35 million in 2016.
By contrast, steering Kentuckians to Healthcare.gov will cost the state about $6.4 million, a substantial savings, officials said.
“It is time to set the record straight on kynect,” Governor Bevin said in a prepared statement.
“My administration has repeatedly disputed the claim often made by proponents of kynect that it will cost the state $23 million to transition to the federal exchange," he added. "This is not true. In fact, we now know that the net IT costs for the transition are expected to be $240,000.”
Once the transition is complete, the administration expects to see annual savings of $15 million to $25 million.
“The methodical approach by this administration is paying off,” Glisson said in a statement. “By transitioning to the federal exchange, Kentucky will save $20 million a year that can be used for other pressing healthcare needs without compromising access to health insurance products.”
In 2015, approximately 85,000 people—2% of the population—were insured through Kynect, the administration said.
Last month, former Gov. Steve Beshear (D) launched a massive campaign to derail Bevin’s plans for Kynect, Healthcare Dive previously reported. Among other points, he said the exchange has improved the health of Kentuckians and brought in nearly $3 billion in direct revenue to state providers.