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Advocates Talk Health Insurance Requirements In Meeting

The state of Kansas will need to write new standards for health insurance policies as part of the federal health care law. State officials will need to decide on the minimum coverage requirements for policies sold on a state health insurance exchange.

At a public meeting in Topeka Wednesday, the Kansas Insurance Department took public comments on the standards.

Some advocates at the meeting argued for more comprehensive benefits, especially for children. Pediatrician and KU Med professor Pam Shaw would like to see more extensive benefits for vision and dental care.

“Dental health plays a key role in the overall health of children, and we do know that it’s the number one infectious disease in children,” says Shaw.

But the benefit requirements will also affect some employer-subsidized health care. Eric Stafford, with the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, says more generous benefits could raise costs.

“And we’re already at the tipping point of businesses being able to afford to provide coverage,” he says.

But action on the standards could be in limbo, for now, at least. Governor Sam Brownback opposes the health care law, and he has said he doesn’t want the state to move forward with major provisions until after the fall election.