Health
2:39 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

W. Ky. Health Exchange Board Member Weighs In on Healthcare

A Benton optometrist says he wants to make health insurance plans more accessible and more understandable for small businesses.  Dr. Joe Ellis of EyeCare Associates of Kentucky is among 19 appointees to the state’s new Health Exchange Board. Governor Steve Beshear established the board to review policies and make recommendations for Kentucky’s state-run health insurance exchange.

Ellis says a lack of options and rising costs are two issues facing small business owners.

“Our small business here, we faced a 105 percent increase in health insurance premiums in four years. That’s unsustainable for any business, big or small," said Ellis.

Ellis also wants to make health plans more readable. He says that way small business owners will know exactly what they’re buying. The Health Exchange Board includes members from insurance companies, hospitals, and advocacy groups. The state has until the end of the year to show it can run the new health system, or else the federal government will take over the program.