Topeka, KS – More Kansans are applying for public health programs like Medicaid, and that's caused a backlog of around 8,000 of applications.
The Kansas Health Policy Authority handles the paperwork. KHPA Spokesperson Peter Hancock says the upsurge is unusual and that the economy has played a role.
"The economic downturn that really started hitting Kansas last fall caused an increase in the number of people applying for Medicaid and SCHIP on top of our regular workload," Hancock said.
The agency hasn't been able pay for additional manpower to process the applications due to the state budget crunch.
But Hancock also says the agency recently received additional federal grant funding to help process applications, so the waiting list is shrinking.
He says the waiting list peaked at around 12,000 last month.