Health Insurer Centene To Cover KU Health System Patients

Nov 15, 2017

Until now, no insurer offering individual coverage through the Affordable Care Act exchange was providing in-network coverage for the University of Kansas Hospital, the largest hospital in Kansas.
Credit File photo

Centene Corp. has agreed to offer individual marketplace coverage under the Affordable Care Act to patients who receive care at The University of Kansas Health System.

Until now, the KU Health System, which includes the University of Kansas Hospital, was not covered in-network under any of the individual marketplace plans offered in 2018 in the Kansas City area.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City had previously covered the hospital, the largest in Kansas, but the insurer in May said it would not offer individual plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2018.

After Blue Cross announced its withdrawal, St. Louis-based Centene said it would step in to offer coverage in Missouri in Kansas.  

“Once we understood no options were available on the exchange for individuals in Wyandotte and Johnson County in Kansas and throughout Missouri to choose The University of Kansas Health System, we worked with Sunflower State Health Plan and Home State Health to find a solution,” KU said in a statement.

KU said it was notifying patients of the change. It said that patients who have already chosen plans during the ACA open enrollment period can change their choices until Dec. 15, when open enrollment ends.

The Centene announcement affects patients enrolled in Centene’s Ambetter plan, which is its ACA marketplace product. KU patients will be able to receive in-network coverage through Centene’s Sunflower State Health Plan in Kansas and its Home State Health Plan in Missouri. 

Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor for KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.