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Kansas Health Insurance Consumer Guide
Use this guide to help you find the right health plan in Kansas. Many people find an ACA Marketplace plan, also known as Obamacare or exchange, to be a cost-effective choice.
In Kansas, you can enroll in ACA Marketplace plans through HealthCare.gov or an approved enhanced direct enrollment (EDE) entity. EDE makes it easier to sign up for health insurance by applying directly through private websites or third-party entities.
The state of Kansas also operates a marketplace plan management exchange.1 This means that the federal government manages the exchange, while the state takes responsibility for reviewing rates and approving qualified health plans (QHPs) available on the exchange.
Dental coverage in Kansas
Learn about available dental coverage options in Kansas.
Medicaid in Kansas
As of 2023, Kansas is one of the few states that have not expanded Medicaid coverage under the ACA.2
Medicare in Kansas
As of early 2023, there were 571,968 Medicare beneficiaries in Kansas.3 Use our guide to learn about Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medigap offerings in Kansas.
Short-term coverage in Kansas
You can buy short-term health insurance in Kansas for up to a year, and it can be renewed once. So the longest you can have short-term health coverage in Kansas is two years.4
Frequently asked questions about health insurance in Kansas
Who can buy Marketplace health insurance?
You must meet certain criteria to qualify for health coverage through the Marketplace in Kansas. Generally, you’re eligible to apply if you:5
- Live in Kansas
- Are either a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawfully present in the U.S.
- Are not incarcerated
- Are not enrolled in Medicare
When can I enroll in an ACA-compliant plan in Kansas?
To buy an ACA-compliant individual or family health insurance in Kansas, sign up between November 1 and January 15 during open enrollment.
Enroll by December 15 for your coverage to become effective on January 1. But if you enroll from December 16 to January 15, your coverage will start on February 1.6
Outside of open enrollment, you can get coverage through the Marketplace if you have a qualifying life event.7 Examples of qualifying life events include loss of health coverage, getting married, or permanent relocation.
Under a new special enrollment period, eligible applicants can enroll in an ACA-compliant health plan through the marketplace at any time during the year if their household income doesn’t exceed 150% of the federal poverty level.8
People who lose Medicaid or CHIP between March 31, 2023 and July 31, 2024 may also be eligible for a temporary extended SEP.9
Native Americans can enroll in an ACA exchange plan year-round.10
Where do I enroll in a Marketplace plan in Kansas?
If you’re eligible for an ACA Marketplace plan, you can enroll three ways:
- Online through HealthCare.gov
- By phone at (800) 318-2596
- In person through agents, navigators, certified application counselors, or an approved enhanced direct enrollment entity.11
How can I find affordable health insurance in Kansas?
In Kansas, you can find affordable individual and family health insurance through HealthCare.gov – the ACA Marketplace.
For the 2023 open enrollment period, about 92% of people using the Kansas exchange qualified for subsidies. 12 These subsidies, known as Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC), help lower your premium.
Kansans who bought coverage through the Marketplace saved around $559 per month on their premium expenses in the 2023 open enrollment – and on average, those who qualified for subsidies paid a monthly net premium of $97. 12
In addition to APTC, if your household income falls below 250% of the federal poverty level, you may also be eligible for cost-sharing reductions (CSR).13 CSRs help reduce deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.
You may also find affordable coverage through Medicaid if you’re eligible.
In Kansas, children may be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP even if their parents aren’t. For certain families, enrolling children in Medicaid or CHIP while parents get coverage through the Marketplace may be more affordable.
Source: CMS.gov 14
How many insurers offer Marketplace coverage in Kansas?
The Kansas exchange offers individual and family health plans from eight insurers. 15 This is the highest number ever for the state’s exchange. Below are the insurers offering plans for 2023:
- Ambetter from Sunflower Health Plan/Celtic (available in 91 counties)
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City/Blue KC (available in 2 counties)
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Inc. (available in 103 counties)
- Cigna (available in 8 counties)
- Medica Insurance Company (available in 94 counties)
- Oscar Insurance Company (available in 2 counties)
- UnitedHealthcare (available in 21 counties)
- US Health and Life Insurance Company (available in 7 counties)
Are Marketplace health insurance premiums increasing in Kansas?
For 2024, these insurers have proposed the following average rate changes:
Kansas’ ACA Marketplace Plan 2024 Proposed Rate Increases by Insurance Company
|Ambetter from Sunflower Health Plan/Celtic||4.18%|
|Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City||-10.05%|
|Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Inc.||7.38%|
|Celtic Insurance Company||7.59%|
|Medica Insurance Company||4.58%|
|Oscar Insurance Company||.05%|
|US Health and Life Insurance Company||13.32%|
Source: Kansas Rate Review Submissions16
The approved rate changes apply to full-price premiums. Since most people using the Kansas exchange receive premium tax credits, they don’t pay the full premium amount. 14 If you qualify for subsidies, your actual rate change will depend on your plan and the subsidy amounts. Factors such as your age can affect your premium too.
If the cost of your current plan increases, you can explore other health plans in the exchange that may be more affordable and offer comparable benefits.
How many people are insured through Kansas’ Marketplace?
A new record was set for the Kansas Marketplace in 2023, with 124,473 people signing up during the open enrollment period. 12 As with many states, Kansas experienced a pattern where many people signed up in 2016, fewer in the following years, then rebounding enrollment in 2021. This growth trend continued with record highs in 2022 and 2023.
This increase in enrollment is thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Under the ARP, ACA’s premium subsidies are larger and more widely available. ARP has been extended through 2025 by the Inflation Reduction Act. 12
What health insurance resources are available to Kansas residents?
Healthcare.gov: This is the ACA Marketplace where you can enroll in a health insurance plan online. You may also get help by calling (800) 318-2596.
Kansas Insurance Department: Call the Consumer Assistance Hotline at (800) 432-2484 in Kansas or (785) 296-7829 if out of state.
Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK): SHICK offers help with questions about Medicare.
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.Footnotes
- “What type of health insurance exchange does my state have?” healthinsurance.org, accessed August 2023
- “Medicaid eligibility and enrollment in Kansas” healthinsurance.org, March 9, 2023
- “Medicare Monthly Enrollment” CMS.gov, April 2023
- “Kansas Statutes Chapter 40. Insurance § 40-2,193. Specially designed policies; short-term policies” Findlaw.com, Jan. 1, 2020
- “A quick guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace” HealthCare.gov
- “When can you get health insurance?” HealthCare.gov, 2023
- “Health Insurance” Kansas Insurance Department, accessed August 2023
- “An SEP if your income doesn’t exceed 150% of the federal poverty level” healthinsurance.org. Accessed August 2023
- “Temporary Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Consumers Losing Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Coverage Due to Unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Condition– Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” CMS.gov, Jan. 27, 2023
- “Who doesn’t need a special enrollment period?“ healthinsurance.org, accessed August 2023
- “Entities Approved to Use Enhanced Direct Enrollment” CMS.gov, April 28, 2023
- “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2023 Open Enrollment Report”CMS.gov, 2023
- “Federal Poverty Level (FPL)” Healthcare.gov, 2023
- “Effectuated Enrollment: Early 2023 Snapshot and Full-Year 2022 Average” CMS.gov, March 15, 2023.
- “2023: Overview of the Health Insurance Market in Kansas” Kansas Insurance Department, accessed August 2023
- “Kansas Rate Review Submissions” HealthCare.gov, Accessed August 2023
- “ASPE Issue Brief (2014)” ASPE, 2015
- “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2015 Open Enrollment Period: March Enrollment Report”, HHS.gov, 2015
- “HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACES 2016 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD: FINAL ENROLLMENT REPORT” HHS.gov, 2016
- “2017 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2017
- “2018 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2018
- “2019 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2019
- “2020 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2020
- “2021 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2021
- “2022 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2022