Three managed care organizations have increased their presence in Kansas as they prepare to implement the KanCare system of Medicaid services.
The hiring of several hundred employees -- and more likely in the coming years -- is an unexpected bonus for Gov. Sam Brownback. New hires mean more revenue and economic activity as the state aims to save nearly $1 billion over five years by curbing the growth in its share of health care costs and providing more proactive health care for the poor and disabled.
"I didn't anticipate that, but I'm glad to hear it," Brownback said of the job creation. "I'm excited about what they've put forward."About 395,000 people will participate in KanCare.
UnitedHealth Group has plans to create more than 320 jobs to administer KanCare, spread statewide. That brings the company's total to more than 2,300 workers, plus more than 1,700 contractors.
Matt Stearns, spokesman for UnitedHealth, said the company is also making a three-year, $1.5 million investment in a program to help KanCare recipients find meaningful employment. It is collaborating in the effort with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Amerigroup Corp. has hired more than 250 employees, with a goal of 274 in the state. The company has a new office in Overland Park, which includes a customer contact center.
The Sunflower State Health Plan is based in Lenexa but has staff located statewide. The company is hiring more than 230 people initially to manage its contract, but a spokeswoman said the number could increase.