October 3, 2016

Health Insurance Coverage in Johnson County

Access to health insurance is critical for individuals and families in our community. Fortunately, the uninsured rate continues to drop in Johnson County, as it has across the state of Kansas and nationwide, according to one-year 2015 data released by the U.S Census Bureau. The uninsured rate has experienced a steady decline since 2010. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010. The ACA health insurance marketplace opened in 2013. 

Unfortunately, there are still many in our community who do not have access to health insurance. People of color are at least twice as likely to be uninsured; Black residents have an uninsured rate of 9% and Latino residents have an uninsured rate of 19%, compared to 4% for White residents. Youth and young adults (ages 18-44) have uninsured rates of 7-8%, compared to a 5% uninsured rate in the general population. And, poor and low-income households have higher uninsured rates than households with more income. 

Increasing Access to Coverage through KanCare Expansion
In the 31 states and District of Columbia that have expanded Medicaid (the health insurance program for low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities) the uninsured rate has declined even more rapidly than it has in Kansas. On average, the uninsured rate in non-expansion states is 12%, compared to 7% in states that have expanded eligibility, according to an analysis conducted by the Kansas Health Institute. In Kansas, the Medicaid program is called KanCare.
In most states, Medicaid expansion provides health insurance coverage to individuals and families who earn too little income to qualify for subsidized health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, but earn too much income to qualify for the state's current Medicaid program. Medicaid expansion is designed to cover individuals and families who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or approximately $27,200 for a family of three.
In Johnson County, 19% of the population with income at or below 138% of FPL are uninsured. That represents approximately 9,500 Johnson County residents who might gain health insurance coverage under expansion of KanCare.
More information about KanCare expansion can be found at the Alliance for Healthy Kansas website.

Alliance for a Healthy Kansas is hosting community events across Kansas to discuss what KanCare expansion would mean for Kansans. Below are the details and link to RSVP for the next forum in our community:
When:   October 20, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Where:   Shawnee Civic Centre Theatre
13817 Johnson Drive, Shawnee KS

Our mission: Provide data analysis, lead collaborative planning and mobilize resources to enhance the availability and delivery of health and human services. 
Contact us at 913-438-4764 or www.ucsjoco.org