Kansas To Expanding Health Care Funding, Services

Armen Hareyan's picture

Summariesappear below of news about health care bills that recently were signed into lawby the governors of Kansas and New Hampshire.

  • Kansas: Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) on Sunday signed into law a bill that implements nine of 21 policy reforms sought by the Kansas Health Policy Authority, the AP/Kansas City Star reports. The bill creates a standardized insurance card for Medicaid beneficiaries; provides dental coverage and tobacco cessation counseling for pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid; and expands outreach services to children eligible for HealthWave, the state's version of SCHIP. In addition, the bill includes $460,000 to expand Medicaid coverage for pregnant women, $2.5 million for safety net clinics that treat low-income and medically underserved state residents and $1.5 million for the Wichita Graduate Medical Education Program. The bill also will expand eligibility for HealthWave if Congress approves additional funding (AP/Kansas City Star, 5/19).
  • New Hampshire: Gov. John Lynch (D) on Monday signed into law the HealthFirst initiative, which will require large insurers to offer a standard "wellness plan" to businesses with up to 50 employees, the AP/Foster's Daily Democrat reports. Under the bill, the state Insurance Department will establish a committee, which will include small-business owners, to design a plan with a target premium of 10% of the previous year's median wage, which currently would be about $262 per month. Before insurers are asked to offer the plan, an actuary will assess whether it can meet its target premium price. According to the AP/Daily Democrat, premium costs will be controlled by focusing on preventive care, promoting best practices and managing chronic conditions. The law, which takes effect in 60 days, calls for the plan to be offered beginning October 2009 (AP/Foster's Daily Democrat, 5/19).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.