Our state Medicaid program, KanCare, provides health coverage for some disabled, elderly, and low-income Kansans. Under current eligibility requirements, most adults - even those with very low-income - do not qualify for health coverage through KanCare. In 2010, states were given the opportunity to accept funding from the federal government to increase access to this health coverage, but Kansas opted out creating what is referred to as the "coverage gap"/ There are about 150,000 Kansans who make too little money to be eligible for help paying for private insurance, but are also ineligible for KanCare. Most of these Kansans are employed and many work multiple jobs to provide for families, but are not offered insurance coverage through their employers.
By expanding the eligibility for KanCare, the legislature could provide health coverage to these 150,000 hardworking uninsured people in our state.
Why does KanCare Expansion matter to ACS CAN?
Without health insurance, many people cannot afford to go to the doctor, which means lifesaving tests like mammograms, colonoscopies, and other cancer screenings are not done on time or at all. For families and our health care system, preventing cancer is much less expensive than treating it. A study conducted by the American Cancer Society showed that people who are uninsured or underinsured are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at its more advanced stages when treatment is more expensive and patients are more likely to die from the disease.
What are the other benefits of expanding KanCare?
KanCare expansion will create jobs - 3,500 to 4,000 new jobs in the next 5 years
It protects access to care, especially in rural areas. Insuring more patients strengthens our rural hospitals
It helps uninsured military veterans and their families who do not automatically quality for health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs
How can the Kansas legislature address to coverage gap in our state?
Both chambers of the legislature passed KanCare expansion with overwhelming, bipartisan support, but on March 30, 2017, Governor Sam Brownback vetoed the bill. The legislature can vote to override this veto and we urge them to do so.