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Thousands Face Long KanCare Application Approval Delays - KOAM TV 7

Thousands Face Long KanCare Application Approval Delays

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FORT SCOTT, KANSAS -

Willa Wilson has got the run-around from KanCare.

"Your phone will go dead,” she says.

She’s been trying for weeks to hear back on the status of her family friend Claude Adams's KanCare renewal application

Adams says "When I first got it everything was all right, they were covering it. And you know I sent them this renewal."

Adams has lung cancer and has been in limbo since the end of January…after the local social rehabilitation services office stopped handling applications this year and turned them over to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment headquarters in Topeka.

Wilson says "It was much easier. You'd go up there and they would take your information.  They would put it in the computer. You got your insurance. They would tell you about different programs where through Topeka they're not even telling you."

Under the old system applications usually took 30 days and up to 45 days to process. Adams was being denied his usual chemotherapy treatments at Mercy until his KanCare was renewed last Monday.

"Knowing that he couldn't get his chemo and it really upset me because he'd always had been out there getting his chemo. They knew how much his income is. The hospital keeps track of that. They know that he was going to get it and still denying him."

Because of the cancer he is out of work and lives off social security. With only $900 to live off of a month he cannot afford to pay his almost $3,000 insurance deductible to get his pain meds.

"It's crazy. He has to meet the spenddown before he can get the medication. Unless he goes on hospice…he'll get the morphine, but he won't get the chemo."

Currently KDHE says there are about 7,000 pending applications that have been held more than 45 days.

KDHE was understaffed to handle the inflow of applications from SRS and has since hired more  employees and made system improvements to decrease wait times.

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