A red state health care exchange that works

12/17/13
 
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from CNN Money,
12/5/13:

Building a health insurance exchange in time for Obamacare’s Oct. 1 deadline was daunting, especially in Kentucky, the only Romney-voting state to take on the challenge. While others relied on the federal government and were left with a glitch-ridden Healthcare.gov, Carrie Banahan, director of the Office of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, oversaw the task herself — and got the site up and running a day early.

Fortune: Why has Kynect succeeded while the federal exchange has floundered?

Banahan: We’ve been having weekly meetings since Sept. 2010. We did a lot of planning before the Supreme Court upheld the law, and we made a key early decision to build a single system to determine eligibility for both exchange insurance subsidies and Medicaid. We believe the vision of the Affordable Care Act was to have a one-stop shop, so the consumer wouldn’t be bounced back and forth between the Medicaid office and the health exchange. Another big difference from the federal exchange is that people don’t need to create an account or enter personal information to shop. It’s less overwhelming — they put in some anonymous information to check if they might be eligible for subsidies. We knew that individuals might not want to waste their time if they found out they weren’t eligible for anything at all.

More Edited Excerpts From the CNN Money Interview: