Governor Laura Kelly and Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning held a joint news conference to announce agreement on Medicaid expansion in Kansas.

The plan would give Kelly the straightforward expansion of state health coverage that she has advocated.  Denning would get a version of a program that he has proposed for driving down private health insurance premiums to keep people from dropping existing private plans for Medicaid.  The joint plan calls for full expansion of Medicaid to be effective no later than January 1, 2021.

The proposal includes an annual hospital Medicaid expansion support surcharge of up to $35 million to be effective July 1, 2021.  Enrollees within the expansion population will pay monthly premiums of up to $25 per month, or $100 for a family of four. The bill does not contain any lockouts.

The Governor said, “This proposal includes elements of my plan, of Senator Denning’s plan, of the 2019 House plan, and of the bipartisan plan that passed both chambers in 2017.”

“All sides can find something in this bill to like. That means it’s probably about as middle of the road as it can get,” Denning said.