Health care reform would bring benefits to Kansas, study finds

? Health insurance reforms being debated in Congress would save the state up to $50 million per year and dramatically reduce the number of uninsured Kansans, according to a study released Tuesday by the Kansas Health Policy Authority.

KHPA does not advocate for or against federal health reforms, but has used Medicaid actuaries through a private grant to get an external analysis of the reform measures.

According to the analysis, the health care bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee would save the state between $25 million and $50 million per year. Congressional Budget Office benchmarks indicate the Senate Finance bill would reduce the number of uninsured Kansans by 190,000 people. There are currently 335,000 uninsured in Kansas.

The bill approved by the House, would save the state as much as $25 million. CBO estimates it would reduce the number of uninsured by 240,000.

The savings would come from increased federal matching funds for Medicaid, and an essential federalization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the study said. In addition, the federal government would pay for most of the expansion of Medicaid eligibility.

And other provisions of the measure would shift beneficiaries from public insurance to private insurance. Federal subsidies available to small businesses would also take some families who would qualify for Medicaid and get them coverage through their employer.