LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There could be major changes coming to the way Kentuckians receive Medicaid benefits.

Gov. Matt Bevin's plan would revamp Kentucky's Medicaid system. Bevin said he is going to apply for what's called a "11-15 waiver," essentially, asking the federal government for Kentucky to establish its own Medicaid program. 

Under that program, about 400,000 Kentuckians with health insurance through the state's expanded Medicaid program would have fewer benefits and would have to pay smaller premiums to keep their coverage, Bevin announced Wednesday.

Premiums would range from $1 to $15 per month. Right now, they pay nothing. Bevin says the idea is to make the state healthier while making Medicaid more sustainable. 

Beneficiaries would lose vision and dental coverage, but they could get it back by earning credits for such things as enrolling in a smoking cessation program or taking a financial literacy class.

"For those who came either hoping for or against the fact that we are kicking people off of healthcare, quite the opposite," Bevin said. "The intent is to make this as available to everybody as it has been, to make the program more successful by making it more accountable, by restoring a sense of dignity that comes with people having a stake in their own health outcomes."

The plan still must be approved by the federal government. Bevin said the plan would save taxpayers $2.2 billion. If the government does not approve the plan, Bevin said he would repeal the expanded Medicaid program. That would mean about 400,000 people would lose their health insurance.

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