Among the total of 2,865,000 residents in Kansas state, around 8% of the residents are uninsured that need to seriously think about obtaining private individual health coverage for themselves and their families. The uninsured residents can look for the health insurance coverage options either at the federally run exchange or at the health insurance carriers offering plans in the state. Kansas uses the federally run exchange Healthcare.gov but has a marketplace plan management design that leaves plan management to the state. The health insurance exchange is the place where individuals and families can shop and compare private health insurance plans.
Lower and middle-income group individuals can also check their eligibility for the premium tax credit that reduces their out-of-pocket costs. Health insurance carriers may offer private health plans either through the exchange or the market outside the exchange. However, people will not be eligible for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions while buying health plans outside the exchange. Individuals need to visit HealthCare.gov to apply for health coverage through the health insurance marketplace. Despite the federally facilitated exchange in Kansas, the federal government relies on the Kansas Insurance Department to approve plans, review rates, provide consumer assistance, and perform other regulatory roles.
Vital Statistics related to Kansas Health Insurance
- For the 2021 health insurance coverage, 88, 627 people enrolled during the open enrollment period window through the Kansas exchange.
- Though the open enrollment for 2021 health plans ended in December 2020, a COVID-related enrollment window has been opened in 2021 that continues through August 15.
- Kansas has a federally-facilitated exchange but the health plans are reviewed and managed by the Kansas Insurance Department.
- The average health insurance cost in Kansas for a 40-year-old in 2021 is $511, an increase of 5% from the last year.
- The cheapest silver plan in Kansas in 2021 is the Ambetter Balanced Care 12.
Different Types of Private Health Plans available in Kansas
To find out the best health insurance coverage, it is in the best interest of people to know about the different types of health insurance plans in Kansas. The health insurance plan in Kansas is categorized into different metal tiers that pay from 60% to 90% of covered expenses. Plans of higher metal tier have expensive monthly premiums but lower out-of-pocket expenses like copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. Thus, individuals having costly prescriptions or who are worried about the high costs of an unexpected illness will find higher metal plans ideal for them. On the contrary, young and healthy individuals who do not expect high medical costs and prefer to have low monthly premiums will find plans of lower metal tier ideal. Silver plans are also eligible for cost-sharing subsidies that lower out-of-pocket expenses for individuals belonging to a lower-income group.
Catastrophic and bronze metal plans in Kansas are often considered as an affordable alternative to silver and gold plans, as these plans have less expensive monthly premiums. However, individuals need to know that Catastrophic health plans are available only to individuals who are under 30 years of age or who qualify for an exemption. Bronze plans have cheap monthly premiums and are available to all. However, bronze plans come with much higher deductibles and thus individuals who need health care during the year will require to pay more money out of pocket before their coverage kicks in. Thus, a bronze plan is recommended to only those individuals who can pay the high cost-sharing in case of medical emergency and expect to have low healthcare costs.
Average Health Insurance Cost in Kansas by Metal-tier
|Type of Health Plan||Monthly premium for 21-Year-Old||Monthly Premium for 40-Year-Old|
Private Health Insurance Options in Kansas
In Kansas, more than half of the residents obtain private health insurance through their employer and those who don’t have access to job-based health coverage can purchase private individual plans through the Marketplace. Individuals can buy any private marketplace health plan available in their area. Individuals can find platinum, gold, silver, or bronze tier metal plans in Kansas. These plans pay from 60% to 90% of their covered medical expenses. The ACA-regulated private plans provide guaranteed health coverage regardless of health or preexisting condition. Private health plans meet all the requirements of the health care law like covering pre-existing conditions, providing free preventive care, and not capping annual benefits. Individuals can find health insurance plans through some insurance companies, agents, brokers, and online health insurance sellers.
Health Insurance Carriers in Kansas
For the health insurance coverage in 2021, Kansas has five health insurance carriers offering health plans in the exchange. The five health carriers available in the state are:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas
- Sunflower State Health Plan/Ambetter from Sunflower Health (Centene)