Medicaid

Matt Allworth, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill designed to cut Kansas' costs in providing prescription drugs for poor and disabled residents.

The chamber's vote Wednesday was 23-16, sending the measure to the House.

The bill would allow the state's Medicaid program to use so-called step therapies for prescriptions that require patients to try less expensive drugs before obtaining more expensive ones.

Stephen Koranda

A rule in the Kansas House was used today to block a proposal to expand Medicaid.

Democratic Rep. Jim Ward offered the budget amendment to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law. He says it would provide more than 150,000 Kansans with health care coverage.

“Over 50 percent of these are working Kansans who go to work every day but work in jobs that don’t pay enough to buy insurance or don’t provide employer-based insurance,” Ward says.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Medicaid applications are piling up in Topeka because of problems with a new computer system, which are also causing some Kansans to lose their coverage.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

Committees in the Kansas House and Senate have introduced a Medicaid expansion bill modeled after one approved by Indiana’s conservative Republican governor and legislature.

The Kansas proposal is designed to appeal to the Republicans who control the legislature. It would require the approximately 150,000 people expected to gain coverage to help pay for it. And it would cancel coverage for those who fall behind in their payments.

Disney | ABC Television Group, flickr Creative Commons

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is calling on Kansas to expand its Medicaid program to provide health coverage for thousands of additional families.

Clinton issued a statement Monday, hours before the Republican-dominated Legislature opened its annual session.

The federal health overhaul championed by Democratic President Barack Obama encourages states to expand their Medicaid programs and promises the federal government will pay almost all of the cost.

Clinton said expanding Medicaid also would help small rural hospitals.

Mike Sherry / Heartland Health Monitor

Kansas is one of 20 states that have refused to expand Medicaid. At a forum in Overland Park Tuesday on KanCare, Kansas’ privatized version of Medicaid, a leader of Indiana’s push to expand the program explained how his very conservative state managed to do it.

A legislative oversight committee is recommending several changes in Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program to save money. One of the recommendations is sparking controversy because it would withhold potentially life-saving treatments from some patients.

A recent legislative audit has found that a new computer system designed to make it easier for Kansas residents to apply for Medicaid and other social services is more than two years past due and at least $46 million over budget.

Andy Marso / KHI News

A new computer system is causing long delays in processing Medicaid applications in Kansas.

The Kansas Eligibility Enforcement System finally went live this summer after almost two years of delays and nearly $50 million in projected cost overruns.

It was supposed to streamline enrollment in Medicaid and other social service programs. But a recent audit found that the software needed many more modifications than expected.

Groups that serve Kansans with disabilities say applications that took days under the old system are now taking months.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

The federal health insurance marketplace opened Nov. 1 for 2016 coverage. An effort called Cover Kansas has been branching out all across the state to help Kansans find a plan that best suits their needs. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson paid a visit to one of their outreach events in Dodge City.

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