As executive director for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I know what poor health care coverage can mean to a family struggling with the burden of a blood cancer diagnosis. I’m troubled by recent insurance proposals in the Kansas Legislature that could make life worse for people living with pre-existing conditions.
One set of bills would loosen regulations on skimpy short-term health plans that are meant to be used temporarily. Another bill allows the Farm Bureau to sell an unregulated health product that exists outside the oversight of both the federal government and the Kansas Insurance Department.
These poorly understood products cherry-pick healthier people to cover and offer fewer benefits — such as reducing or eliminating prescription drug coverage. They put their own customers at risk of medical and financial hardship if their conditions aren’t fully covered and drive up others’ costs.
LLS exists to find cures for blood cancers and to make sure our patients have access to those cures. Short-term health plans and unregulated products are not the right way for Kansas to tackle health costs and access. Instead, legislators should take a look at ideas that will work for all Kansans, including Medicaid expansion, reinsurance and premium subsidies.
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Carli Good, executive director, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Mid-America Chapter Shawnee Missio