Ky. health insurer postpones W.Va. entrance

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kentucky Health Cooperative, which announced in May that it would enter West Virginia’s health-care marketplace in 2015, has announced that it will postpone its entry for one year amid concerns that its infrastructure is not yet prepared to handle demand in the state.

Joseph Smith, chairman of the KHC, said the decision to postpone was made to ensure the new West Virginia Health Cooperative would be truly prepared and said he fully expects the co-op to be functional by Jan. 1, 2016.

“We want to be sure we are prepared to do it well,” Smith said. “In our first year in Kentucky, we had an enrollment of probably close to twice of what we expected, and in that process we found bugs, and we want to make sure we’re doing everything correctly for the state of West Virginia.”

Although the announcement came just two days after an election in which Republicans took control of both houses in the U.S. Congress and the West Virginia Legislature, Smith said any fear that the Affordable Care Act might be repealed did not factor into the decision.

“We’d made this decision before Election Day,” he said. “We will be there in 2016..

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