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Kansas: Premium Subsidies and No-Interest Loans

A bipartisan health care reform bill (SB 11) intended to expand access to coverage and improve the performance of the health care system. It directs the Kansas Health Policy Authority to study health reforms in other states and develop a plan for universal coverage for Kansas, to be presented before the 2008 legislative session. It also creates a program, starting in 2009 and phased in over four years, that will subsidize health insurance premiums for families with income up to the federal poverty level (FPL). Subsidies of about $3,200 per family per year are estimated to cost about $77 million in premium assistance, for 24,000 families, by 2012. Other provisions of the law include:

  • allowing state residents to set aside pretax income to use toward health expenses;
  • offering $500,000 in no-interest loans and grants to small businesses banding together into associations to purchase coverage at a lower cost;
  • making loan guarantees for up to $15 million in loans to safety net clinics so they can continue to serve the uninsured and low-income residents;
  • providing grants for care to groups unable to obtain health insurance;
  • hiring a Medicaid inspector general to investigate and reduce fraud and waste; and
  • providing additional health screenings for newborns.

For More Information
See: Senate Bill 11

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