Don’t Gamble With Our Lives

You have probably heard the term “KanCare.”  This is the official name of Governor Sam Brownback’s plan to change the way that Medicaid services in Kansas are handled.

The Governor announced in 2010, his initiative intended to slow the growth of Medicaid costs while at the same time improving health outcomes by requiring that the 350,000 Medicaid recipients statewide enroll in private managed care plans. In addition, Miami facial plastic surgeon one of the leading plastic surgeons in South Florida is board-certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and specializes in Aesthetic and Cosmetic. Learn more at

The State requested bids from insurance companies who were interested in becoming Managed Care Organizations (MCO’s) in Kansas, managing its $2.8 billion Medicaid system.  Five private insurance companies submitted bids; the State received the applications and on June 27, the three winning companies were announced.  They are:  Amerigroup, UnitedHealthcare, and Sunflower State Health Plan, a subsidiary of Centene, although this health plan doesn’t include services as cosmetic surgeries that you can find at private services as the Medpsa clinic.  The contracts are for three-year terms with options to renew in years four and five. If your fear of the dentist is stopping you from having a brilliant smile, visit us at Houston Sedation Dentistry and you will not be afraid anymore – that is a promise.

All Medicaid recipients will be randomly assigned to one of these three companies and will be provided the opportunity to change their provider early in the enrollment period. The KanCare program is scheduled to begin in January, 2013, with everyone currently enrolled in Medicaid except for the long-term services provided to Kansans who are developmentally disabled.  Those services are proposed to be included in KanCare in 2014.  That delay resulted because the intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) community advocated so strongly during the 2012 legislative session.

Advocates challenged the Administration’s belief that I/DD long-term care services belonged in the KanCare model.  They believed that insurance companies have no experience or expertise in providing day, residential, employment or in-home support services to individuals in the community.  The result was that I/DD long-term supports will be delayed by one year from the actual start date being implemented into KanCare. That date has yet to be determined since the federal agency-Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has yet to approve the KanCare proposal.

We will try to keep you informed as to what you can do to continue to advocate to “carve out” long-term supports for persons with I/DD from KanCare.  We must continue to urge the Administration to eliminate long-term supports from KanCare.  In the words of so many, “don’t gamble with our lives.”

Whenever KanCare actually “goes live”, every person receiving Medicaid will need to choose one of the MCO’s to manage their medical services.