Health Reform

Health reform has not played such a dominant role in public debate and policymaking for nearly 20 years. While there is growing agreement that fundamental changes must be made given the growing costs of health care and the toll that takes on individuals and the economy, there is still wide disagreement on what meaningful reform should entail. KHI researchers and journalists monitor and report on health reform efforts at the state and federal levels.

Issue Brief: Insurance Marketplace Now Open—Plan and Cost Options for Kansans

0 | Health Reform

After more than three years of preparation and debate, the health insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act opened this week in Kansas for enrollment in coverage starting as early as Jan. 1. While the initial rollout is likely to experience technical challenges and limited online functionality, the plans available and the prices for coverage in the marketplace are described in this brief.

Policy and Research

Issue Brief: Health Reform Likely to Increase Demand on Mental Health System

1 | May. 30, 2014 | Research, Health Insurance, Health Reform, Press Releases

Recently released federal data show the Kansas mental health system could expect up to 7,700 new patients due to expansion of insurance coverage under ObamaCare. This influx of patients could create strain on the mental health system in some Kansas communities.

Kansas Health Insurance Marketplace: An Insider's Look

0 | Feb. 21, 2014 | Health Insurance, Health Reform

Join us in a discussion of early experiences with implementation of the ACA in Kansas The Marketplace and how it is structured and operating in Kansas.

Issue Brief: Nearly 182,000 Kansans in the ‘Eligibility Gap’

0 | Feb. 11, 2014 | Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 aims to increase the number of people with health insurance by expanding both private and public coverage. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the law will reduce the number of uninsured Americans under age 65 by approximately 27 million by the year 2017. However, in Kansas, approximately 182,000 people fall into an eligibility gap, and 78,400 of them currently do not have health insurance. Nearly half of Kansans in the gap are also employed.

Video: KHI's St. Peter on the economic outlook for the healthcare industry

0 | Dec. 05, 2013 | Health Reform

The Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University invited Robert St. Peter — president and CEO of the Kansas Health Institute — to present at its annual conference on the economic outlook for the healthcare industry.

KHI's St. Peter explains elements of ACA on NPR

0 | Dec. 04, 2013 | Health Reform

NPR recently interviewed KHI President and CEO Robert St. Peter for stories airing this week on the Affordable Care Act. As he explains, under the new federal health reform law, insurers can only set prices for an individual’s insurance based on three things: age and smoking, and where you live.

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News

New Missouri law pays dividends for KC clinic

0 | Jul. 24, 2014 | Health Reform, Safety Net

Safety net clinics like Kansas City CARE are adapting from serving uninsured patients to those who recently acquired coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

HHS says nine health insurance companies owe refunds to Kansas policyholders

0 | Jul. 24, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

The 2010 Affordable Care Act required that insurers spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars collected on medical care for policyholders. Those that fail to meet the threshold are obliged to pay refunds.

What do the latest ACA court decisions mean for consumers?

0 | Jul. 23, 2014 | Courts, Health Reform

While insurance consumers won't be affected immediately by Tuesday's decisions, and the current subsidies likely will remain in place until there is a final legal decision on the matter.

Conflicting rulings on Obamacare subsidies put Kansas consumers in limbo

0 | Jul. 22, 2014 | Courts, Health Reform

If the 2-to-1 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit stands, consumers in the 36 states – including Kansas and Missouri – that didn’t establish their own online health insurance marketplaces would no longer be eligible for subsidies.

D.C. appeals court overturns subsidies for federal exchange

0 | Jul. 22, 2014 | Courts, Health Reform

A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled that subsidies may not be offered in the federal health exchange. But the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals later offered its own decision, upholding the subsidies.

Kansas gets grants to match child support funds for college savings

0 | Jul. 24, 2014 | Children, DCF

Kansas welfare officials say they will use more than $600,000 in grants from two nonprofit groups to launch a program aimed at getting parents to pay down child support debts.

Kansas Foundation for Medical Care part of new regional quality improvement organization

0 | Jul. 24, 2014 | Agencies, Health Care Delivery

Officials with the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care announced that the Topeka-based health care quality improvement organization is joining with similar nonprofits in Nebraska and the Dakotas to form the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network.

Kansas selected for program to reduce prescription drug abuse

0 | Jul. 08, 2014 | KDADS, Prevention

The program by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration focuses on intervention and treatment resources to counter prescription drug abuse.

The brain behind the Brownback tax cuts

0 | Aug. 14, 2012 | Advocacy, Budget

The controversial tax cuts signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback were helped along — or at least were certified a good idea — by economist Arthur Laffer, the 72-year-old namesake of the Laffer Curve, which he supposedly sketched on a napkin to illustrate a theory during a lunch in 1974 with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, then aides to President Richard Nixon. Laffer has been active in pushing tax cuts in at least three states this year.

Nurse faces felony count for alleged abuse of nursing home resident

0 | May. 19, 2014 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery

The Butler County Attorney announced today that his office has filed one felony count against a worker suspected of abusing an Andover nursing home resident in September of 2013. The nurse is scheduled to appear in court June 16.

Scammers preying on public's confusion over health reform law

0 | Apr. 22, 2013 | Health Reform

Law enforcement agencies are reporting an increase in these sorts of health insurance scams across the country. Many of the fraudsters seem to be preying on the public’s confusion over the Affordable Care Act and the massive changes taking place in the nation’s health care system.

DCF hires foster care ombudsman

1 | Jul. 16, 2014 | Children, DCF

The move was prompted in part by a foster parents' bill of rights proposed earlier this year during the legislative session.

KC public housing smoking ban puts onus on tenants

8 | May. 22, 2014 | Community Health, Government, Tobacco

A new policy aims to do away with smoking in city-owned housing, but many residents are not pleased.

National report: Midlevel dental providers expand access to care

1 | Jul. 02, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Oral Health

The report examined the experiences of two public nonprofits with dental therapists - one in Alaska and another in Minnesota - and a telehealth project in California.

Number of children in foster care hits record high

2 | Jun. 09, 2014 | Children, DCF, Mental Health

In April, there were 6,156 children in the state's foster care system. That’s 356 more children than in April 2013, and 872 more than two years earlier.

Web-based tool helps match foster children, families

1 | Jun. 26, 2014 | Children, DCF, Health Care Delivery

The tool, developed about two years ago by TFI Family Services, a Topeka-based charity, is being marketed by Foster Care Technologies, a for-profit partnership between TFI and the Bioscience & Technology Business Center at the University of Kansas.

Food stamp work requirements complicate Farm Bill passage

6 | Jul. 08, 2013 | Nutrition, Safety Net

Kansas policymakers seem to be at the forefront of a controversial national movement to make it more difficult for people to qualify for a federal program that helps more than 46 million low-income Americans — including more than 300,000 Kansans — buy groceries.

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