06 September 2012

Health Insurance in 2014: Kansas

by Aric Mitchell, Posted in News

Health Insurance in 2014: Kansas

Kansas is running out of time, according to State Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger. While other states, such as California, are locking in their styles of health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, which takes effect in 2014, Kansas is still playing the "wait and see" game with the presidential election. This news comes as no surprise to most, since Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has been such an opponent of the law.

Still, Praeger believes it is time to "get some clarity on this," and has set a "soft deadline" of Sept. 30, according to a report on Thursday (Sept. 6) by The Kansas City Star. Praeger told the newspaper that "if Kansas doesn't pick its own plan and the health care reform law is not repealed, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will make the choice for the state." 

Still, detractors of the law believe that the state's hesitancy is justified. In a virtual dead heat race, the Republican candidate Mitt Romney has vowed to make repealing ACA, also known as "Obamacare," his first order of business. The consensus: why put in the work when so much could change with November's results?

Strengthening the "why bother" argument is a study from consultant Jill Van Den Bas from the Milliman actuarial firm. After Milliman analyzed a number of state and federal plans, along with group plans from Blue Cross and Blue Shield and UnitedHealthcare, it was revealed that the plans showed 95% solidarity in coverage schemes. As such, ACA health plans could offer little difference from state-to-state.