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K-State Today

June 27, 2013



K-State professor launches effort to educate Kansans about 'Obamacare'

By Pat Melgares

Roberta Riportella, the Kansas Health Foundation professor of community health in the College of Human Ecology, is heading up an effort to help Kansans learn more about how the Affordable Care Act — often called "Obamacare" — will affect them once the law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

In Kansas, it stands to most directly impact more than 365,000 who are currently without health insurance, many of whom now will be required to purchase insurance from private providers authorized through a marketplace exchange.

Kansans will begin making those choices when open enrollment begins Oct. 1.

"Kansas people who are uninsured will have a product to buy, they’ll have a marketplace to go to," Riportella said, "and they’ll have people to help them enroll."

The marketplace is intended to make insurance more affordable. Consumers will have a choice of private plans, and qualifying individuals and families are eligible for tax credits, she said.

Specific to Kansans:

  • Providing dependent coverage to age 26 will benefit more than 25,000 young Kansas adults.
  • Prescription drug discounts will save $14 million for Kansans, an average of $615 per person.
  • Rebates from insurance companies will total more than $4 million.
  • A reinsurance program for retirees will affect employees at more than 60 Kansas companies.
  • Federal funding for public and private Kansas recipients will exceed $90 million.

Read more online at Kansas State Research and Extension.