By Kate Inman
November 28, 2017

As the state of Kansas looks to strengthen the privatized Medicaid program, the public says changes need to be made.

The public and those in the medical community expressed their concerns to the KanCare Oversight Committee about what could be in the proposed KanCare 2.0. A major concern is the potential work requirements. KanCare 2.0 is an expansion of the KanCare program which covers more than 400-thousand people.

Recently the state won federal approval to continue the KanCare program through 2018 with KanCare 2.0 taking effect in 2019. Currently the state doesn’t require work requirements to receive benefits, but under KanCare 2.0 about 12,000 people would be required to find work, or enroll in a work training program to get those benefits. After working 36 months and receiving KanCare they would no longer be eligible for benefits.

The head of the program says work requirements would put people on a path to independence, while others say it could hurt families.

Jon Hamdorf/ Inter Medicaid Dir: “Help provide them with tools that aren’t covered right now by Medicaid and help them get on that path so they can go ahead and get a job and be healthier and work towards their life goals.”

Amanda Gress/Kansas Action For Children: “Because we know there adverse impacts for children when their parents lose health insurance coverage that can create a strain on a family.”

KanCare 2.0 could also include pilot programs for people with disabilities as well as children in the foster care program. KanCare 2.0 would also need federal approval before taking effect.

Watch the video from KSN here.