Governor Laura Kelly Announces Medicaid Expansion Bill to Boost Kansas’ Economy, Increase Access to Care

Topeka, Kan. — Governor Laura Kelly announced legislation to expand Medicaid (KanCare), a law that would provide more than 150,000 hard-working Kansans access to healthcare and create more than 23,000 new jobs.

“Expanding Medicaid so that thousands of hard-working Kansans have access to affordable health care would boost the Kansas economy,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Expansion would inject billions of dollars into our state, create thousands of jobs, help retain our healthcare workers in Kansas –and help rural hospitals’ bottom lines. It’s time to work together to deliver for Kansans and get this done once and for all.”

Under the proposed legislation introduced on February 9, Medicaid will be expanded to cover Kansans earning up to the full 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, 90 percent of which would be paid by the federal government, starting on January 1, 2023. Furthermore, if Medicaid is expanded, the state is poised to receive an additional $370 million over the next eight fiscal quarters for the current Medicaid population. That’s a total of $68.5 million in State General Fund savings in Fiscal Year 2023 alone, which will be reallocated for one-time strategic investments on housing, childcare, and workforce development.

A 2022 statewide survey finds that almost 8 in 10 Kansans – 78 percent – support expanding Medicaid to allow more Kansans to qualify for health care coverage.

Expanding Medicaid in Kansas would boost the economy by:

  • Providing affordable health insurance to hundreds of thousands of Kansans
  • Stimulate the economy for rural, suburban, and urban communities alike
  • Create tens of thousands of new jobs
  • Inject billions of dollars in increased economic output
  • Retain health care jobs in Kansas

The bill requires the Secretary of Health and Environment to collect information from applicants regarding their employment history through the Medicaid application and refer unemployed or underemployed individuals to the Department of Commerce or Department for Children and Families to assist with locating job opportunities through work referral programs.