KHI News Service

Public comment sessions scheduled on proposed Kansas Medicaid changes

State officials seek federal approval for a KanCare expansion and three pilot programs

By KHI NEWS SERVICE | July 09, 2013


TOPEKA - State health officials have scheduled public comment sessions next week in Wichita and Topeka to collect input on their plan to modify the state's Medicaid program so that long-term supports for the developmentally disabled can be included in KanCare.

Pending federal approval of the plan, Kansas officials aim to expand KanCare effective Jan. 1, 2014.

The plan requires amendment of the so-called Section 1115 waiver granted by federal officials in December 2012, days before the KanCare program was launched. The initiative by Gov. Sam Brownback then moved virtually all the state's 380,000 Medicaid beneficiaries into managed care plans run by three insurance companies: Amerigroup, UnitedHealthcare and Sunflower State Health Plan, a subsidiary of Centene. Medical services for the developmentally disabled were included in KanCare from the outset, but their long-term and residential supports were not.


Medicaid waiver amendment (draft)

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Kansas officials said they also would request CMS approval for three new pilot programs aimed at keeping people off Medicaid or helping them ease out of the program.

One of the pilots would provide up to $1,500 per month to about 200 disabled persons not yet determined eligible for Social Security disability payments to help them with job training and personal care.

A second pilot would provide similar assistance to about 400 physically or developmentally disabled people currently on the waiting list for home- or community-based services. Eligibility for the pilot also would be limited to those working at least 40 hours a month in jobs paying minimum wage rates or better.

The third proposed pilot would create "health accounts" for about 500 people to help them transition from Medicaid by giving them a "pre-loaded" debit card worth $2,000 that could be used to purchase health care services or help pay for health insurance premiums. Those enrolled in the pilot would lose eligibility for Medicaid benefits for one year after their participation in the pilot ends, though some exceptions would be allowed. There would be an option of participating in the pilot program for up to three years.

The first public comment session is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday in the multipurpose room at the Wichita State University Metroplex, 5015 E. 29th St. North in Wichita.

The second session is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Madison Ballroom at the Downtown Ramada Inn, 420 S.E. 6th Street in Topeka.

Teleconference access also is available for the Topeka meeting. The participant dial-in number is 866-491-3158.

Comments also may be emailed to, or mailed to ATTN: Rita Haverkamp, KDHE-DHCF, 900 SW Jackson, Room 900, Topeka, 66612. Comments will be accepted until July 29.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that teleconference access would be available for both meetings. It will only be available for the Topeka meeting. The earlier version also mischaracterized one of the eligibility provisions for the pilot programs that would provide job training and other assistance to the disabled.

KHI News Service coverage of KanCare

Hutchinson Clinic's letter throws a curve to KanCare open enrollment (1/28/14)
National Disability Council again urges CMS to hold off on Kansas DD carve-in (1/14/14)
DD carve-in not approved for Jan. 1 launch (12/27/13)
National Council on Disability urges one-year delay of KanCare DD carve-in (12/13/13)
KDADS chief describes lessons learned with KanCare (12/5/13)
Other states watching Kansas as it implements ‘unprecedented’ Medicaid model (12/5/13)
KanCare reimbursement problems continue for providers (11/25/13)
Kansas dental program for children on hold because of KanCare MCO (11/11/13)
Kansas Medicaid providers complain to oversight committee (10/7/13)
Wichita hospital execs describe problems with KanCare (8/29/13)
KanCare to adopt “health home” model for treating mentally ill (7/22/13)
Kentucky’s rush into Medicaid managed care: A cautionary tale for other states (7/18/13)
DD groups largely reconciled to KanCare carve-in (7/15/13)
Advocates urge more government oversight of Medicaid managed care (7/8/13)
Independent pharmacists push for KanCare contract enforcement (7/1/13)
Payroll agents for the disabled on Medicaid say they are struggling under KanCare (6/3/13)
Personal Care Attendants: KanCare's unheralded workers (5/20/13)
House GOP leaders pen letter backing DD supports in KanCare (5/17/13)
More than 1,000 rally at Statehouse for DD carve-out (5/8/13)
Nothing to be done about coverage gap in states not expanding Medicaid, feds say (4/29/13)
As KanCare continuity of care period ends, problems persist; legislators starting to hear about it (4/8/13)
Advocates raise concerns over possible reductions in KanCare services (3/28/13)
Conferees agree on KanCare oversight committee (3/28/13)
DD advocates push to extend KanCare "carve-out" (3/20/13)
Safety-net clinics struggling with KanCare (3/4/13)
Major medical provider groups ask for longer KanCare transition (2/13/13)
Lawmakers and providers assess KanCare transition (1/28/13)
Five-part series: "Lower cost and better care: Can KanCare deliver?" (1/14/13)
Independence of KanCare ombudsman questioned (1/7/13)
KanCare special terms and conditions spelled out by CMS in a document (12/28/12)
KanCare workforce shift hampering local agencies (12/10/12)
Governor announces KanCare approval by feds (12/7/12)
More KanCare implementation details outlined (12/3/12)
Federal officials say they hope to act soon on KanCare waiver request (11/28/12)
New KanCare info included on state website (11/20/12)
Groups call for KanCare delay (11/8/12)
Go/no-go date looms this week for KanCare (10/15/12)
KanCare benefit packages outlined (9/26/12)
Provider groups nervous about lack of KanCare details (9/13/12)
KanCare Confidential (9/10/12)
KanCare contracts awarded (6/27/12)
KanCare plan panned again at public hearing (6/20/12)
Wichita KanCare forum draws more than 200 (6/19/12)
Medicaid makeover: Can Kansas learn from Kentucky? (6/11/12)
Hundreds protest inclusion of disability services in KanCare (4/25/12)
Counties weighing in on KanCare (4/9/12)
Hospital administrator to chair KanCare Advisory Council (3/29/12)
Brownback Medicaid makeover an “ambitious” plan (3/28/12)
KanCare bidders heavily courting Medicaid providers (3/19/12)
Legislators push to delay KanCare start (3/7/12)
Brownback announces managed care for all in Medicaid (11/8/11)
Kansas Medicaid makeover in the works (3/7/11)

Full Medicaid and KanCare coverage

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