But Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, said there is a lag between rising employment and a reduction in the Medicaid rolls — and he wanted that some employers may reduce or eliminate private insurance coverage as they add employees back into their workforce.
Sen. Walter “Doc” Blevins, D-West Liberty, a practicing dentist, asked how many Medicaid providers there are in Kentucky and what percentage of physicians, dentists and other providers are Medicaid certified. Johnson said there are about 40,000 certified providers of all types and there are five counties which have no Medicaid certified providers and several counties with only one certified provider, but she was not able to provide a percentage of providers who are Medicaid certified.
Blevins commended Johnson for the low administrative costs — 2 percent of a $5.6 billion program.
“We hear this all the time — those government programs don’t work,” Blevins said. “But 2 percent administration is just amazing. You should be commended.”
Johnson said the state has added 22,000 children to the federal-state children’s insurance program — K-CHIP — since Gov. Steve Beshear implemented an outreach program to identify and enroll children who were eligible for the program but not enrolled. About 55,000 Kentucky children are in the program.
Those children are eligible if their families earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline. Others are served directly by Medicaid. In all, she said, about 377,095 children in Kentucky receive some sort of state assistance for medical care and treatment.
Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at email@example.com. The Richmond Register is a CNHI newspaper.