By Marissa Alcantar, Storybank and Policy Specialist with Alliance for a Healthy Kansas
The Alliance for a Healthy Kansas is so grateful to work closely with Health Partnership Clinic on KanCare expansion. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, they provide critical services to Kansans in the coverage gap, who might otherwise not be able to get the health care they need. We continue to work together to expand our state’s Medicaid program, KanCare, with hope that someday soon Kansans in the coverage gap will have access to affordable health insurance.
KanCare expansion is an opportunity for Kansas to improve the lives and health of all of its citizens.
The benefits are clear:
- Expansion will reduce health care costs for everyone by reducing uncompensated care.
- It will provide insurance to 150,000 Kansans who currently make too much money to qualify for KanCare, but not enough to qualify for subsidies on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
- Expansion will also support our rural communities and hospitals. More than 50 percent of Kansas’ rural hospitals are at risk of closing, and KanCare expansion is the single biggest thing our state can do to prevent these closures from happening.
- KanCare expansion supports a healthy Kansas workforce. When more people have access to the physical and behavioral health care they need, there are more workers healthy enough to remain in or re-enter the workforce.
- Expansion keeps Kansas economically competitive. All of our surrounding states have expanded their Medicaid programs, making them more attractive to businesses and employees.
As part of our advocacy efforts for expansion, the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas (AHK) Storybank Project highlights the stories and experiences of Kansans caught in the coverage gap. These individuals have the chance to put a face to the coverage gap crisis and tell others about what they’re dealing with and why expansion will help them.
AHK’s stories are used in a variety of ways. We share stories with advocates and supporters in emails, on our website, and through social media; we connect storytellers with media and reporters; and we share stories with Kansas legislators and policymakers to illustrate the need for expansion. Stories give Kansans in the coverage gap the chance to advocate for themselves in ways they feel most comfortable. The Alliance ensures that stories are used only in ways that the storyteller is comfortable with.
If you are someone in the coverage gap who would like to share your story, please reach out to Marissa at AHK (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get started. Becoming a storyteller is a critical role that you can play in affecting change in our state that will better the lives of thousands of Kansans.