Topeka The largest health insurer in Kansas said Wednesday it will not submit a proposal to be a Medicaid contractor under Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to privatize Medicaid.
"We did not come to this decision lightly," said Angie Strecker, director of institutional relations for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.
The Brownback administration has put out a request for proposals for contractors to bid on providing managed care services under Medicaid, which serves approximately 350,000 Kansans.
"We devoted significant resources and assigned top staff to review the Request for Proposals (RFP)," Strecker said. "In the end, although we believe the RFP may present a sizable opportunity, it would have required us to dramatically change our business model to serve new populations in different settings in less than a year," she said.
Advocates for Kansans with developmental disabilities and some legislators have said Brownback's move toward managed care was going too fast and has too many unresolved issues.
State Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, noted that the state's RFP elicited 1,100 questions from bidders.
The most controversial aspect of the plan is including contracts for people with developmental disabilities. Advocates say the long-term supports needed for people with developmental disabilities don’t fit with a private program to manage healthcare costs. And they said the governor’s plan doesn’t address the nearly 5,000 people with developmental disabilities on a waiting list to receive assistance in their homes.