- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014
Most Kentuckians choose nonprofit for insurance

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Nonprofit health insurance cooperatives across the country have struggled to stay competitive with their bigger, for-profit counterparts - but not in Kentucky.

Kentucky’s lone health care cooperative - buoyed by a $58.8 million federal loan - has sold 77 percent of the private health insurance plans purchased through kynect, Kentucky’s state-run health insurance marketplace.

CEO Janie Miller credited kynect for their success, saying the state-run website has been immune from the technical glitches that have slowed enrollments through the federal website.

“It became a great neutralizer for us as a new entry into the market, because it was working,” Miller said.

Through March 31, 77,027 people have purchased private health insurance through kynect. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the only other company to offer health insurance plans statewide through kynect, sold 12 percent of the plans, according to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

An Anthem spokeswoman said the company has seen an increase in health insurance applications, both on and off the exchange, in the past few weeks, but did not have final numbers.


Lexington vies for Equestrian Games with Montreal

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Lexington and the Bromont/Montreal area in Canada are competing to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games after Wellington, Fla., dropped out of the bid process just before the March 31 deadline.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports (https://bit.ly/1igRPqb) Kentucky has submitted a signed host agreement with an undisclosed financial guarantee to the International Equestrian Federation. The Swiss-based organization - FEI for its French initials - is the governing body for the games, which are held every four years in the same year as the Winter Olympics.

The disciplines include jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining.

Kentucky hosted the games at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park in 2010, the first time they were held outside Europe.

To win that bid, the state had to put up a $2.5 million financial guarantee that was later repaid by the non-profit group organized to run the games. State officials have said the 2010 games generated more than $200 million in economic activity.

Alltech, the giant animal-nutrition company based in Nicholasville, was the naming sponsor for the 2010 Games and is the title sponsor for this year’s games, to be held in Normandy, France.


Audit: Mine injury underreporting data lacking

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The Mine Safety and Health Administration should improve its data on mine operators’ underreporting of work-related injuries and illnesses so that it can better target enforcement to address the problem, a federal audit said.

MSHA has taken steps to detect and deter underreporting, including revising its auditing process and training programs, and enhancing penalties for violations. However, more can be done, according to the audit conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

Federal regulations require mine operators to report work-related injuries and illnesses. The audit said most citations for violations result in an average $100 penalty.

“Notwithstanding its ongoing detection and deterrence activities, MSHA did not have the knowledge of the occurrence of underreporting at the level of granularity needed to detect and deter underreporting across the mining industry,” stated the audit, which was released Tuesday.

The insufficient data was due in part to the lack of studies of underreporting. Difficulty in obtaining data complicated the problem, the audit said.

“In the past, mine operators sometimes refused MSHA access to employee medical and personnel records that related to accidents, injuries and illnesses. Without these records, MSHA faced increased challenges in detecting underreporting,” the report stated.


Mother charged with abuse in death of toddler

GHENT, Ky. (AP) - A northern Kentucky mother has been charged with criminal abuse after her two-year-old son died from a drug overdose.

Kentucky State Police arrested 28-year-old Amanda Foster Tuesday at her home in Ghent.

Father Douglas Allen, also from Ghent, has been charged with murder in the case.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Bradley Arterburn says the 26-year-old father allegedly gave his son Oxycodone on the night of Feb. 18. The next morning, the mother called emergency services saying the child was discovered dead in his bed.

Arterburn says a toxicology report showed the boy had extremely high levels of Oxycodone in his system at the time of his death.

Foster was lodged at the Carroll County Detention Center.

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