Policy & Research


Medicaid Expansion in Kansas: Updated Estimates of Enrollment and Costs (March 2019)

By Kari M. Bruffett | March 05, 2019

Medicaid Expansion in Kansas: Updated Estimates of Enrollment and Costs (March 2019)


Fourteen states — including Kansas — have not expanded Medicaid under the terms of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In 2017, the Kansas Legislature passed a Medicaid expansion bill that was vetoed by then-Governor Sam Brownback. 

This issue brief provides estimates of the number of new enrollees and the related cost to the state if Medicaid were expanded. It uses methodology consistent with previous Kansas Health Institute (KHI) estimates. However, unlike those earlier estimates, this version includes an assessment of new revenues and additional administrative costs, as well as offsetting savings related to current enrollees who could be eligible for the new adult expansion group and its higher federal match rate. 

Key points from the brief include:

  • Nearly 130,000 Kansans (including 90,000 adults and 40,000 children) are estimated to newly enroll in KanCare if Medicaid is expanded, an increase of 31 percent in the number of program enrollees.
  • Of the projected new enrollees, about 75,000 were previously uninsured, while about 55,000 were already insured and expected to switch to KanCare.
  • The total gross cost of new enrollees over 10 years would be $1.2 billion to the state, but accounting for new revenues, offsetting program savings and additional administrative costs would reduce that by more than half, to $520.8 million net cost over 10 years.
  • Adopting alternative approaches to Medicaid expansion, such as work requirements for adults, might affect enrollment estimates.

*KHI also is providing detailed technical notes for those interested in further understanding the assumptions and data used to create the estimates.