Photo courtesy of @kprkoranda on Twitter
Photo courtesy of @kprkoranda on Twitter

Governor Kelly, Senator Denning Announce Medicaid Expansion Proposal

The 2020 Kansas legislative session doesn’t officially begin until Monday, but Governor Laura Kelly and Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning made headlines today as they announced a bipartisan proposal on Medicaid expansion in Kansas.

After months of negotiating, Gov. Kelly and Sen. Denning announced the proposed legislation to expand Medicaid while lowering health insurance premiums for Kansans. Some of the highlights of the proposed legislation include:

  • Full Medicaid Expansion – A full expansion of Medicaid to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) with a 90/10 match, coming in to effect no later than Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Medicaid Funding – The proposal includes an annual hospital support surcharge of up to $35 million (which has been endorsed by the Kansas Hospital Association) to be effective July 1, 2021. The proposal does not require a tax increase.
  • Rural Health Care Innovations – The proposal creates an advisory committee within the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to support rural hospitals in assessing viability and identifying new delivery models, strategic partnerships, and implementing financial and delivery system reform to improve the health of rural communities.

While Gov. Kelly was encouraged by the progress made between her office and the Republican leaders of the Kansas Senate, she reiterated that the process is not over as the legislation still needs to be approved by the Kansas House and Senate this session in order for her to sign it into law.

“This process is far from over, as there are still several critical steps to be taken by the Kansas Legislature,” Kelly said. “But today, Sen. Denning and I are proud to stand together to propose a bipartisan compromise that will expand Medicaid and lower healthcare costs for Kansas families.”

Sen. Denning added, “My top priority is to lower the cost of health care for Kansans across the board. We want to give as many Kansans healthcare coverage as we can, in the Medicaid market and the non-Medicaid market.”

Currus will monitor the legislation as it makes its way through the Kansas Legislature this session and on behalf of the independent pharmacies in Kansas, will fight to ensure that the dispensing fees for Medicaid prescriptions do not decrease because of this legislation.

A summary of the proposed Medicaid expansion bill can be read here.