Kansas Health Insurance
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation state profile, Gov. Sam Brownback announced in November 2012 that Kansas would default to a federally facilitated health insurance marketplace because of time constraints. According to the Kansas insurance commissioner, the state still regulates health insurance plans that do business in the state by handling consumer complaints and concerns.
State residents who want to apply for Kansas health insurance or find out if they qualify for financial assistance can register with the federal Affordable Care Act marketplace at HealthCare.gov during open enrollment.
The application process consists of answering several questions about income and family members. After the application process is complete, applicants can find out if they and their family members qualify for financial assistance for premiums, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Do you qualify for an Obamacare subsidy?
Under the Affordable Care Act, people with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level may qualify for subsidies to help them purchase private plans on the health insurance marketplace. These subsidies come in the form of tax credits, but they can be immediately applied to the cost of monthly premiums. Typically, people who have access to other types of affordable major medical plans, such as a plan through an employer, will not qualify for subsidies.
State residents who earn more than 400 percent of the poverty level can still sign up for marketplace plans, and insurers cannot deny applicants based on pre-existing health conditions.
If Kansas residents already have private or employer-based insurance plans, they are free to keep them as long as they stay in force.
Originally, the designers of the ACA assumed all states would expand Medicaid eligibility, so subsidies are not available for people with incomes below the poverty level.
According to an early 2014 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Kansas is one of 21 states not moving forward with the expansion at this time. Twenty-seven states including Washington, D.C., expanded Medicaid, and three states are still debating the issue.
The ACA affects Kansas residents in the following ways.
- Typically, subsidies are determined using 2013 federal poverty level limits, and Medicaid and CHIP qualification is typically based on 2014 limits.
- Children of Kansas families with incomes below 250 percent of the poverty level, or about $59,625 for a family of four, may qualify for CHIP.
- Nondisabled parents of those children might qualify for coverage with incomes below 38 percent of the poverty level. This is about $9,065 for a family of four.
- About 45 percent of currently uninsured Kansans are eligible for some type of financial assistance under the ACA.
- About 78,000 Kansans fall into the coverage gap because they do not qualify for Medicaid and earn too little to qualify for private plan subsidies.
Health insurance companies in Kansas
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
- Coventry Health and Life
- Coventry Health Care of Kansas
Kansas health and coverage statistics
Kansas population (2013): 2,893,957
Population 65 and older (2012): 13.7 percent
Life expectancy (2010): 78.7 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2012): 374,700
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2012): 412,700
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 369,400
Overall state health ranking (2014): 27
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Health Rankings 2014 report.
The following are large Kansas health insurance companies that offer marketplace plans.
Kansas health insurance resources
Kansas Department of Health and Environment: http://www.kdheks.gov/
Kansas Insurance Department: http://www.ksinsurance.org/
Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services: http://www.kdads.ks.gov/
The federal health insurance marketplace: https://www.healthcare.gov/
Kansas Medical Assistance Program (KanCare and MediKan): https://www.kmap-state-ks.us/