Health insurance gone for 24,000 kids on Kansas Medicaid

Health Insurance - Kids dropped from Medicaid

As the state continues its “unwinding review”, thousands of children have lost coverage

The massive Medicaid “unwinding” review in Kansas has resulted in a massive number of children losing their health insurance coverage from the state program.

Almost half of those who lost coverage were kids

In fact, estimates show 47 percent of those who lost their health insurance following the Kansas Medicaid eligibility unwinding were children aged 18 years old or younger.  Kansas Action for Children senior policy advisor Heather Braum predicted in a recent Kansas Reflector report that the gaps in coverage could result in long-term damage for those kids and for medical care in the state.

US Kansas Children medical care

When children lose coverage – even for a short while – it can mean that they don’t have the opportunity to visit a doctor when they’re unwell, or they might not be able to keep taking important prescriptions for conditions they already have, said Braum.

Small health insurance gaps can have a big impact

“Even short gaps in coverage cause children to miss vital prescriptions or not be able to see a doctor when they are sick,” explained Braum. “These data indicate that thousands of Kansas children are likely going without the protection that health coverage provides, which will lead to poorer health in the short and long term while their families are exposed to high medical costs and medical debt. Health insurance coverage and access during childhood can change the trajectory of a child’s life, for better or worse.”

In total, there were 75,532 Kansas residents who lost their Medicaid coverage when the program conducted its unwinding.  Of those, 24,673 people were between the ages of 0 and 12 years old.  Another 10,632 people were between the ages of 13 and 18 years old, according to the most recent available data.

Renewal paperwork has contributed to the issue

Among the reasons that Braum cited to explain why kids were so particularly hard hit by the loss of health insurance in the Medicaid unwinding is that “children depend on their parents to turn in their renewal paperwork.” It’s not up to the kids, it’s up to their parents, and there are many things that can stand in the way of a parent completing paperwork at all or on time. Some of those issues are not in the parents’ control.

“The mail system could hiccup on either end, incomplete paperwork could be returned and families never learn more information is needed,” explained Braum.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.