KanCare Start Date Looms, State Lacks Federal Approval

Nov 8, 2012

A major overhaul of the Kansas Medicaid program is scheduled to take place in a little more than seven weeks, but the state's plans still haven't received a green light from the federal government.

Many of the changes that would be enacted require approval from federal officials.

Kari Bruffett from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment told a legislative committee that KDHE is confident the new KanCare program will be able to take effect on January 1, though the launch date is contingent on getting an OK from federal regulators.

"Everything is productive and we're making fast progress," said Bruffett. "And they definitely understand our timeframe. We're really working in partnership with them, but I can't tell you until the ink is dry that it's done."

The goal of the Medicaid overhaul is to save the state money without affecting patient care. Kansans who will be affected by the proposed changes will soon receive information by mail. In December, enrollees in the new KanCare programs will have an opportunity to choose one of three managed care providers.