New KanCare Health Plan Begins January 1st

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TOPEKA (WIBW) -- After two years of gathering input and planning, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is ready to implement KanCare, a new health care system for Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program beneficiaries in Kansas.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback held a press conference Friday announcing permission from federal officials that allows the state to overhaul its Medicaid program.

Brownback told reporters that KanCare will improve health care for 380,000 Kansans while making it fiscally sustainable. He said the system is what Kansas needs.

It is supposed to do three things:
1. Improve quality
2. Control costs
3. Serve as a reform to improve wellness in the state

KanCare will allow people to have access to their current providers for 90 days during the transition.

Expanded services are available, including heart and lung transplants, preventative dental care and bariatric surgery for adults. Those with developmental disabilities can continue to work with the same case workers.

There are three separate plans people can choose from that will cater to everyone's personal needs.

Secretary of the Department for Aging and Disability Services John Sullivan said outreach efforts will not stop.

"We'll continue to reach out and provide education and help people understand the plans and what their options are and how they can choose between the plans," Sullivan said.

KanCare will go into effect January 1, 2013. The governor and other officials said the state will save about one billion dollars over the next five years.