NU Online News Service, Aug. 27, 8:53 a.m. – The state of Kansas has been awarded a Health Resources and Services Administration State Planning Grant of nearly $1.3 million to develop a strategic plan to provide health insurance to Kansans who currently have no coverage.

The goal of the federal grant is to develop a plan for covering all uninsured Kansans over five years. Kansas is one of 11 states to receive a planning grant, says the Kansas Department of Insurance.

Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius and the Kansas Insurance Department have been designated by Gov. Bill Graves to lead the project, which Sebelius has appointed a steering committee to oversee. The steering committee will oversee the data collection and develop a statewide plan to insure Kansans, says the department. The plan will then be presented to the 2002 Kansas Legislature for consideration.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 10.3% of Kansans have no health insurance. The remaining 89.7% of Kansans buy individual coverage, enroll in health plans offered by their employers, or are enrolled in the federal Medicare or Medicaid insurance plans, according to the insurance department.