New healthcare coverage could be on the way

Another option for healthcare coverage could be coming to Kansas, but not everyone is happy about it.
The Kansas Farm Bureau wants to give its members access to private healthcare coverage. It’s not the same as insurance though, as people with pre-existing conditions could be turned away.

“The real issue is affordability of insurance, there’s so many families, especially families that are in rural parts of our state that are in a farm economy that just can’t afford individual health plans,” said Louisburg Representative Jene Vickrey.

“If you pull all the healthy people out to get less expensive insurance, then what does that do to the stability of the current structure,” asked Courtney Eiterich, who opposes the bill.
Eiterich has Multiple Sclerosis. She was at the Statehouse Wednesday for a rally against the bill.
Before the Affordable Care Act was in place, she quit her job and looked for a new insurance plan.

“I spent three and a half hours only to be told that I didn’t qualify for private insurance,” said Eiterich. “I know what that process is like and I didn’t think it was fair then and I don’t think it’s fair now.”

But Rep. Vickrey, the House Insurance Committee Chair, said the new option would help Kansans that need it most.

“A product that they can do coverage that is more affordable, it isn’t quite as extensive, but it’s better than not having any kind of benefit,” said Rep. Vickrey.
Since the plan is not considered insurance, complaints would head to the Attorney General instead of the Insurance Commissioner.
In February, the bill passed 28-11 in the Senate. It is now in the House Insurance Committee, where it could be amended.

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