Praeger: Health insurance should not be denied

Commissioner wants to end exclusions for pre-existing conditions

The state of the insurance in Kansas is good, yet still needs some work.

That was the basis of a discussion Monday evening led by former Kansas Senator and current Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger.

Praeger, of Lawrence, also served on the city commission and as mayor here before moving on to state government.

Praeger addressed questions, comments and concerns during a talk at Trinity Episcopal Church. One point she made was that cracks in the system can be fixed on the state level with a bipartisan approach.

“We’re looking at expanding Medicaid eligibility … so that safety net would work for more people,” Praeger said.

While Praeger believes the system in Kansas is in better working order than in many states in the southern tier of the country, she also believes making coverage cheaper and easier to obtain is crucial.

“I think people should not be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions,” she said. “If you’re sick, you should be able to buy health care just like healthy people and so I think getting rid of pre-existing condition exclusions is an absolute must.”

Praeger says she is working to ensure that health insurance continues to be regulated on the state level.

She said that nearly 340,000 Kansans are uninsured, while another 500,000 are underinsured.