Thousands of Kansans too poor for health care

“The message that they’re too poor to qualify is not one they’re going to understand,” Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger told Kansas Public Radio. She was referring to Kansans who don’t earn enough income to receive a tax credit to help them buy private health insurance (but who earn more than the current Medicaid cutoff of $6,000 for a family of four). These individuals were supposed to be covered by expanded Medicaid, but Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature have so far refused to allow the expansion – even though 100 percent of the cost would be paid for by the federal government for the first three years and 90 percent would be covered after that. A study by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured estimated that about 58,000 uninsured Kansans would fall into the “too poor to qualify” coverage gap.