Kansas holding steady on health report card, could improve with Medicaid expansion, says Commonwealth Fund

Numbers released this week from the Commonwealth Fund show Kansas remaining at 30th in the Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance.

“One thing that Kansas has been struggling with politically is expansion of its Medicaid program in the state for the last couple of years,” said Sara Collins, Vice President for Health Care Coverage and Access at the Commonwealth Fund. “Were the state to expand, that would definitely move Kansas up in the access measures that we’re looking at. Right now, Kansas is about number 27 on adult uninsured rate. About 12 percent of the adult population is uninsured in Kansas.”

The state also struggles in being sure the same proportions of low-income and high-income people are insured.

“They’re number 40 on adult uninsured disparity,” said Collins. “That means that there’s a big gap between insurance coverage among higher income people in Kansas and lower income people in Kansas.”

Kansas is in the middle of the pack when it comes to insuring kids.

“Kansas ranks at number 26 on insurance coverage of children,” said Collins. “Were they to expand Medicaid, they would certainly increase their rankings on this measure. That also filters into some of the other measures, too, people being able to get good access to health care, for example.”

The number of uninsured children has actually gone down from 2013 to 2017 in Kansas.

Image Courtesy: Commonwealth Fund