THE UNINSURED IN KANSAS
April 2, 2008
Relative to both the national average and its neighboring states, Kansas is faring well in terms of its total population of uninsured, says Matthew Hisrich, a senior fellow with the Flint Hills Center. In his new policy brief, "The Uninsured in Kansas: An Update," Hisrich discusses the diversity of the uninsured population in Kansas and the options for policymakers in addressing the concerns of those individuals.
Those who are uninsured in Kansas are diverse in their ages, healthiness, and wealth:
- Forty-five percent of those who are uninsured in Kansas are without insurance for less than six months, typically because they are between jobs.
- And more than fifty-six percent of the uninsured are between the ages of 18 and 34.
State policymakers have a variety of options for dealing with those who are uninsured in Kansas, says Hisrich:
- Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) offer a more affordable option for those without coverage.
- These HSAs, when combined with low-cost catastrophic coverage, provide individuals more flexibility in coverage while providing possible portability in coverage.
- Other reform options involve tax credits and the avoidance of price setting.
The problem of uninsured Kansans can be effectively addressed by policy solutions that promote consumer-driven alternatives. According to Hisrich, policymakers should focus on reforms which remove barriers that reduce access to coverage and offers and promotes lower-cost options.
Source: Matthew Hisrich, "The Uninsured in Kansas: An Update," Flint Hills Center, April 1, 2008.
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