Kansas Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer says the state's new Medicaid managed care program will deliver on its promise to save $1 billion over five years.

Colyer says the three private insurance companies managing the KanCare program will achieve those savings because their bottom lines depend on it.

"And the big stick in this is, we're going to hold back half a billion dollars from the insurers over the next five years," Colyer says.

KanCare beneficiaries can expect to receive an important mailing in the next few days.

The Affordable Care Act makes some changes that will require them to provide additional information about their households. The mailing is going out to 130,000 households that include children and pregnant women who are KanCare, formerly known as Medicaid, beneficiaries.

Kansas policymakers have decided not to expand the state's Medicaid program, or to create a Kansas-specific exchange for consumers to buy individual health insurance policies. But the Affordable Care Act is coming and it's bringing some changes to the Medicaid program, whether the state's political leaders want to cooperate or not.

The changes are outlined in a new report from the non-profit Kansas Health Institute.

The owners of a Topeka nursing home have filed a federal lawsuit in attempt to stay in business. State and federal officials have decided to cancel the nursing home's eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid payments, and revoke its operating license.

State officials have submitted their first quarterly update on KanCare to the federal government.

The federal waiver that gives Kansas the authority to experiment with its Medicaid program by privatizing the entire system requires a progress report four times a year.

The first report covers the period from January 1 through March 31.

It shows that a total of more than 344,000 Kansans enrolled in KanCare during the first three months. At the end of March, however, there were fewer than 324,000, a drop of more than 20,000 people.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness says gaps in mental health care could be addressed if every state-including Kansas-would expand Medicaid as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act.

Rick Cagan, who heads NAMI Kansas, says the state’s system of community mental health centers is supposed to provide help for Kansans with mental illness, regardless of their ability to pay. But budget cuts have left public mental health providers unable to meet the needs…

More than 1,000 advocates for the developmentally disabled are rallying at the Kansas Statehouse to urge officials to maintain the current system for providing services.

Advocates Seek Reduction In Medicaid Waiting-List Rolls

May 6, 2013

Advocates for Kansans with disabilities are urging legislators to adopt Gov. Sam Brownback's proposal to reduce the number of people on the waiting list for Medicaid services.

Currently, about 5,000 Kansans with developmental and physical disabilities are on the list. Brownback wants to spend $18 million to provide services to approximately 600 of them.

Advocates are using a video to help make their case to lawmakers. It features parents of disabled Kansans and some of the caseworkers who are trying to help them gain access to services.

Lawmakers Mulling Medicaid Expansion

Apr 3, 2013

Starting next year, states will be able to take part in a sweeping expansion of the health care program Medicaid, and the federal government will pick up most of the cost. But it's still not clear if that expansion will take place in Kansas, where the state's Medicaid program is known as KanCare. 

As Lawmakers and Gov. Sam Brownback consider the expansion, some Kansans are trying to make their voices heard.


Stephen Koranda

Supporters of expanding Medicaid delivered nearly 3,000 signatures to Gov. Sam Brownback's office Wednesday, asking him to support an expansion of the state's Medicaid program.

Anna Lambertson is with a coalition of organizations pushing for Medicaid expansion. She spoke during a rally at the Statehouse.

“We could bring more health care related jobs to Kansas, and improve the health of our workforce," she said. "Healthy workers, as I’m sure you know already, mean a productive workforce. That’s good for our employers and for our state."