Thousands of Kansans currently fall into the health insurance coverage gap. They are hardworking men and women who make too much to qualify for KanCare, Kansas’ Medicaid program, but too little to qualify for financial assistance on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Kansas has the opportunity to expand KanCare, opening up affordable health insurance to 150,000 Kansans. Thirty-nine other states – including all of Kansas’ surrounding states – have expanded their Medicaid programs. Kansas stands to gain a lot by expanding KanCare:
- Reduces health care costs for everyone. Every Kansan is paying the price for not expanding KanCare. When low-wage Kansans can’t get health coverage that means more in ER bills, increased uncompensated care for hospitals, and untreated mental and physical health needs. This means individuals, families and businesses all end up paying more for health care. Expanding KanCare will bring the cost of health care down for everyone.
- Protects Kansans from medical debt. People all over the state feel the effects of rising costs for housing, food, and other needs, including health care. Almost half of Kansans have medical debt or know someone who does. By expanding KanCare, tens of thousands of Kansans will be able to afford health insurance coverage. That protects them from medical debt so they can use those savings to pay for other essentials.
- Fixes eligibility limits, which are currently too low. The income limit to qualify for KanCare is about $8,750 per year for a family of three, which is less than $4 per hour. Expanding KanCare would raise the income eligibility limits so that more hardworking Kansans, who contribute to the economy, can get the health care they need for themselves and their families.
- Preserves and strengthens rural health care. Kansans in our rural communities already have a hard time accessing health care when and where they need it, and rural health care providers face high levels of uncompensated care. Kansas has more rural hospitals at risk of closing than any other state our size. Expanding KanCare would strengthen and sustain the rural health care system and help ensure rural Kansans get the health care they need while giving a boost to their economies.
- Makes Kansas more economically competitive. Expanding KanCare would increase the state’s economic output by $17 billion and increase the personal income of Kansans by $6.3 billion over the next three years. Expanding KanCare will not only improve the health of Kansans, but it will also help our state compete with our neighboring states, who have all expanded eligibility for their Medicaid programs.
- Addresses workforce issues. Nearly all industries in Kansas employ individuals who would become eligible under KanCare expansion. The benefits of expansion would be seen not only financially for Kansas employers, but also with improved health and increased ability to work for employees.
The overwhelming majority of Kansans want low-wage families to have access to KanCare for coverage they can count on if they are not offered health insurance through a job or cannot afford to buy it on their own.
Let’s expand KanCare now. Join the movement and get involved with us today!