Kansas Lawmakers Pass Measures Changing Welfare And KanCare Policies


Kansas lawmakers approved a bill today aimed at changing welfare policies and reducing prescription drug costs within the state’s Medicaid program known as KanCare. The measure is now headed to Gov. Sam Brownback for approval or veto.


GOP leaders see the measure as crucial to resolving budget issues because it would reduce the state’s costs of providing health coverage to poor and disabled residents by nearly $11 million a year. The measure would allow KanCare to use so-called step therapy requiring participants to try a less expensive drug before being allowed to get a more expensive one.


For welfare recipients, the bill would reduce the lifetime limit for cash assistance from 36 to 24 months.


“We know that the average client who receives cash assistance is receiving it for about 13 months, so they never get close to the limit that we are going to be changing it to should it be signed into law,” says Teresa Freed, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Children and Families.


The bill also requires those applying for public assistance to verify the income of any adults living in the home.


The Kansas Legislature added several patient protection measures to a bill allowing “step therapy” for Medicaid drugs before passing the legislation early Monday morning.


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UW-FM Wichita NPR Station       Published on May 3, 2016

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