Gov. Steve Beshear directed the Kentucky Department of Insurance on Thursday to comply with President Barack Obama's edict that could allow 280,000 Kentuckians to keep their current insurance policies, at least for another year.
Beshear said the decision ultimately will be left to insurance companies, many of which he said have already invested heavily into developing coverage plans that meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act and may not want to reverse course.
Obama announced Thursday his decision to allow insurance companies to continue offering existing polices for another year even if they don't meet minimum standards of the law. He had been under intense pressure, even from within his own party, to allow people to keep existing policies.
In Kentucky, about 130,000 people with individual insurance coverage face discontinuation of their policies in the months ahead, as do about 150,000 people with small group policies.
Obama announced his decision Thursday to allow insurance companies to continue offering polices that had been slated for discontinuation under the federal health care overhaul.
"Kentucky will comply with the president's request," Beshear said in a statement. "This will be a business decision for each insurer to make, as many of them have invested a great deal of time and money into preparing for the transition to new standards."