Gov. Steve Beshear is prepared to order the creation of a statewide health insurance exchange intended to reduce coverage costs if a federal health care reform law is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Beshear said in a statement Thursday that Kentucky needs to be ready to run such an exchange or the responsibility will default to the federal government.
Insurance exchanges are key to the federal health care overhaul signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. They're set to go into operation in January 2014 if the health care law isn't struck down.
Insurance exchanges would serve as online marketplaces where consumers could compare coverage options and prices of various plans.
The Supreme Court could rule by late June on the constitutionality of the health care reforms.