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Medicaid Expansion and Main Street (April 2021)

Projected Effects of Expanding KanCare on Kansas Employers

By Phillip Steiner, M.A., Sydney McClendon, Kari M. Bruffett | April 19, 2021

Medicaid Expansion and Main Street (April 2021)

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The potential effects of Medicaid expansion on businesses in Kansas is a relatively under-addressed question. While other studies have looked at the macroeconomic effects of expansion – for example on tax revenues and state economies – no study has examined potential effects on businesses in Kansas as employers. This report estimates that employees switching to Medicaid from employer-sponsored insurance would save private-sector employers in Kansas between $39.6 million and $80.6 million per year. Employers could experience non-financial effects of Medicaid expansion as well, including a healthier workforce.

Key points include:

  • Nearly all Kansas industries employ Kansans who would potentially be eligible for Medicaid if expanded.
  • Businesses that provide Accommodation and Food Services employ the most Kansans – nearly 23,000, or 22.8 percent of the industry – who would potentially be eligible for Medicaid if expanded.
  • Other industries whose workforce would be most impacted by Medicaid expansion include Administration and Support and Waste Management (14.8 percent); Wholesale Trade (13.5 percent); Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting (12.6 percent); and Educational Services (12.3 percent).
  • Two-thirds (66.3 percent) of employed Kansans potentially eligible for Medicaid if expanded work full-time.
  • Non-financial impacts include improved health, improved self-reported ability to work, and minimal impacts to the overall labor market, including the size of the labor force.

This report was prepared for the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas (Alliance) through a contract with the Community Care Network of Kansas (CCNK). The Kansas Health Institute retained editorial independence in the production of the report and its findings. Any views expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the views of the Alliance and CCNK and their members.

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.