Another state is putting the burden of health costs back onto families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level.

Kansas budget cuts and layoffs have created a backlog that appears to be growing dramatically.

Budget cuts hurting state child health program

By Marshanna Hester http://www.ktka.com/news/2010/feb/01/budget-cuts-hurting-state-child-health-program/

Almost all developed nations have affordable health care. Why are we unable to provide health care even for America’s children?

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2010
Budget cuts hurting state child health program

By Marshanna Hester
Forty thousand Kansas children depend on a state program for health insurance, but the state program is failing to do its job because of budget cuts.

Now some parents are worried how their children are going to get the care they need.

“I just couldn’t believe the state would cut a program for Kansas kids,” says Harold Stultz, a dad with children on Healthwave.

Like thousands of Kansas parents, Harold Stultz, who’s self-employed depends on state program Healthwave to provide health insurance for his children, including 12-year-old Keenan.

So when Keenan hurt his knee wrestling, Stultz assumed he had insurance. He was wrong.

“They said they had everything they need, but due to the economy and cutbacks they couldn’t process the applications.” says Stultz.

“I figured if it happened to me it happened to a lot of other people,” says Carmetti Klein a mom with children on Healthwave.

She’s right. Klein, just like Shultz, assumed her children were covered. She sent in her application on time, but learned it wasn’t processed.

“I got on the phone and told them I needed this processed,” says Klein.

The state’s not denying there are problems, so why are there delays? A spokesperson says he could: “verify that the delay in processing applications is due to a shortage of resources and manpower. We understand that many parents are frustrated at the delays in processing applications. This has been a problem since the recession really hit in Kansas in late 2008 and early 2009.”

It’s only getting worse because of the economy. The need is growing and applications are up dramatically.

Until his application is processed, Stultz will have to find money to treat his son’s knee. So far, that’s about $6,000.

‘It just upsets me that there are more people in my situation,” says Stultz.

Kansas provides low-cost health insurance to children who meet the following criteria: they must be under the age of 19, not covered by Medicaid, have a family income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level and who are not eligible for state employee health insurance.

The state says it is taking proactive steps to speed up processing, but it’s just now putting those into effect and it’s going to take time.

A specific number of pending applications is unavailable, but it is said to be a sizeable amount.

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2 Comments

  1. I am a lay-off from Cessna. When I lost my job, may 2009, I had some savings so I paid for Cobra for as long as I could. It started at $500 a month then jumped to $630 Per Month! I missed 1 payment then got a bill the next for $1260. I was out of savings so I lost coverage. I applied for Health Wave in January 2010. I meet all the income requirements, I am the only one with income in a family of 4. That income is unemployment. I need to get on healthwave now I owe the doctor about $2000 for visits and shots.

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