The House was struggling with the bill that would permit insurers to sell very basic coverage in the state.
On the last day of the regular session in Kansas, the House dedicated hours to debates, re-considerations and the pushing back of a bill, which was finally passed in order to allow the state to add bare bones health insurance policies to its market.
The purpose of the bill is to help to make the coverage more affordable than what is currently out there.
Senate Bill 163, which has been nicknamed “Mandate Lite”, originally included provisions that would make it possible for health insurance companies to be able to sell plans that don’t cover all of the 29 requirements that the state currently mandates. The leader of the Republican party in Kansas explained that this would assist residents in being able to manage the increases in the cost of coverage that could occur as a result of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, when it is implemented in January 2014.
The hope for the bill is that it will provide residents with the choice of a discount health insurance plan.
This, according to Rep Phil Hermanson (R-Wichita), who explained that the passing of this bill would allow cheaper health insurance plans to become available, which would be particularly appealing to individuals who are currently young and healthy. He acknowledged that the state is aware of the approach of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and are hoping to help it to be more practical for the residents of Kansas.
Hermanson stated that “We do have the ACA coming up, requiring by federal law to cover more Americans,” adding that “We know that’s coming on board. This will help, in my opinion, the younger generation.”
However, there were some in the House that were not entirely in favor of the health insurance bill. They expressed concerns that these bare bones policies that would become available through this bill may not meet the minimum requirements of the federal law, even if the mandate in the state, itself, is lowered. Should the bill open up the sale of plans that don’t conform with the federal requirements, it could place residents who purchase the coverage at risk of increased costs in the long run.