Military veterans and their families are among the Kansans who would benefit from expanding the KanCare program. According to credible research, about 7,400 veterans and their spouses would gain access to quality, affordable health care coverage — at little cost to the state — if our elected leaders choose to expand KanCare.
Veterans often do not have automatic and easy access to health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs, despite their service to our country. Nationally, nearly 2.3 million veterans and their family members lack health insurance. In Kansas, more than 21,000 are uninsured. They are less likely than veterans with insurance coverage to be able to afford a doctor visit and more likely to skip care due to cost. More than 40 percent report unmet medical needs and one third have at least one chronic health condition.
KanCare expansion would provide coverage to uninsured Kansans with annual income below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, or about $16,000 for an individual and $28,000 for a family of three. About 7,400 Kansas veterans and their spouses would be eligible.
Kansans are already paying the cost of this expanded coverage, but veterans are not seeing the benefits. Federal funds — our tax dollars – would cover all costs of the expansion through the end of 2016 and never less than 90% after that. Expanding KanCare is Kansas’ opportunity to get back the tax money we’ve been sending to Washington and to replace state tax dollars that are currently being used to subsidize health care providers for treating the uninsured. Until we take advantage of this opportunity, our federal tax dollars are going to California, Colorado, New York and other states to provide health care to their uninsured residents.
By expanding KanCare, lawmakers would help serve thousands of Kansans who have already served us all.