Affordable Care Act

Susie Fagan / KHI News

For the past three years supporters of expanding Medicaid to cover more poor Kansans have gotten nowhere in the Legislature, but they’re hoping to change that in the upcoming session by getting Kansas lawmakers to look at expansion plans crafted in other so-called red states.

Indiana’s plan was the focus at a forum held here in Wichita on Tuesday that attracted an overflow crowd, including Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean.

The federal government says rates will increase by more than 16 percent for Kansas residents who buy middle-of-the-road "silver" health coverage plans through its online marketplace.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report Monday showing that the increase in Kansas is higher than the average for 38 states in which consumers rely on the federal exchange. The average change in those states is a 7.5 percent increase.

Silver plans pay 70 percent of costs on average.

Kansas and two other states are suing the federal government over fees imposed on insurance companies as part of the Affordable Care Act.

In a news release issued Thursday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said the state is seeking a $32.8 million refund from the federal government. The lawsuit, which was filed with Texas and Louisiana, also seeks to stop the collection of fees from insurance companies that manage the states' Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance programs.

States are required to reimburse the private insurance companies for the costs of the fee.

Kansas Action for Children

An annual report on child well-being in Kansas shows some positive trends, but they’re overshadowed by persistent problems.

Among the improvements cited in the 2015 Kansas Kids Count report: There are fewer uninsured children in Kansas.

Kansans seeking health insurance in the Affordable Care Act marketplace will soon have fewer choices. That’s because a major provider is withdrawing from the marketplace. Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean has the story.

Two Kansas organizations are hiring staff to increase the number of consumers they can help in the search for health insurance that meets their needs. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

The federal health insurance marketplace opens for 2016 coverage Nov. 1.

The Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved and Ascension Health have both received federal grants to help consumers sort through the many options they’ll find. Together, their insurance navigators helped almost 20,000 Kansans find coverage for this year.

The rate of Kansas residents who are uninsured has dropped to 10.2 percent amid a national movement to increase health coverage.

The U.S. Census Bureau determined that about 12.3 percent of people in Kansas didn't have health insurance in 2013. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the new information indicates that about 57,000 fewer people were uninsured in 2014 compared to 2013.


Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says Republican presidential candidates promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act are misleading voters. Sebelius made the comment in a speech yesterday at a luncheon marking the 10th anniversary of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

A new report shows a small decline in the number of Kansans with health insurance coverage through the federal online marketplace during the spring and early summer.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported Tuesday that nearly 85,000 Kansas residents were enrolled in health plans through the federal marketplace at the end of June.

Premiums for Kansas health insurance plans offered in the federal marketplace won’t increase as much as originally proposed, state Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer said Tuesday.

In May, Kansas insurance companies requested rate increases of up to 39 percent for individual market policies to be sold through the marketplace during the next open enrollment period, which begins Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31, 2016.