Kansas stories: Tammy

December 2023

Tammy is a grandmother who recently moved from Kansas City, Missouri, to Shawnee Mission, Kansas. While living in Missouri she qualified for Medicaid; Missouri expanded their Medicaid program in 2021. When she moved to Kansas, she lost access to affordable health insurance since Kansas has not expanded its Medicaid program.

Tammy says she would have reconsidered moving to Kansas if she had known about the coverage gap.

Tammy works part-time in a warehouse and makes too much money to qualify for Kansas’s Medicaid program, KanCare. She isn’t offered health insurance through her job.

In order to stay healthy, Tammy needs a knee replacement surgery, but without access to health insurance, she’ll have to go without it. Meanwhile, she is still trying to work and care for her granddaughter while having serious knee issues.

Going without necessary health care makes Tammy’s day-to-day life difficult and is a source of a great deal of stress. She knows that if she had access to affordable health insurance, she’d be able to get the care she needs and live a healthier life.

Tammy is just one of thousands of Kansans who work but aren’t offered health insurance through their job. Because they make too much to qualify for Medicaid, they are caught in the coverage gap and end up with unresolved health issues.

Nearly every industry in Kansas has employees that would benefit from expanding Medicaid. In Kansas there are approximately 16,000 workers in the manufacturing industry just like Tammy who would gain health insurance coverage under Medicaid expansion.

It’s past time for Kansas to do what forty other states have done and expand our Medicaid program so low-wage workers like Tammy can remain a healthy part of the workforce.