After months building a state-based health exchange, Kentucky officials have been told that the federal government has given approval to their work.

Despite objections from Republican lawmakers, Kentucky officials quickly began working on a state-based exchange — a part of the Affordable Care Act.

Many states surrounding Kentucky are opting for a federal-run exchange or haven’t yet made a decision.

Because of that fast work, federal health official Chiquita Brooks-LeSure announced that Kentucky now has official government approval to continue their exchange.

“We congratulate the District of Columbia, Kentucky and New York on the significant progress that they have made and their approval to operate a state-based exchange,” she says.

The approval helps Kentucky continue to be at the front of the pack in terms of getting government help and resources for their exchange, which has to be up and running for 2014.