Monday, October 19, 2009
The contractor that processes Medicaid applications for the Kansas Health Policy Authority is working through a backlog of 12,000 applications.
Peter Hancock, spokesman for the authority, says rising unemployment and outdated technology have caused the backlog. Applications are supposed to be processed in two to three weeks, with six weeks the maximum.
Hancock notes that the agency asked the Legislature for $1.5 million last year to fund the staff needed to speed up the work. But lawmakers didn't fund the program because of the state's budget problems.
As of September, Medicaid covered 265,787 Kansans, with an additional 38,683 children up to age 19 covered by the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP. That's about 10 percent of the state's population.