KS Statewide Farmworker Health

Program Overview


PURPOSE: The purpose of the Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program is to assure access to primary health care services for low-income and medically underserved migratory and seasonal farmworkers (MSFW) and for persons eligible for services essential to the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis.

APPROACH: The Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program accomplishes its goals by coordinating a state-wide voucher case management system for migratory and seasonal farmworkers to obtain health services. Vouchers for covered services are obtained from Access Point Agencies made up of state-funded primary care clinics and local health departments.

PHILOSOPHY: Preventive services and early intervention create a healthier population and reduce the need and the total cost of personal health services. For this reason, regional case managers and health promoters assist their clients in obtaining services through other programs such as Medicaid, Healthwave, M&I, WIC, well-child exams, family planning, and EDW. This system is a dynamic process and requires a partnership between state, local and private providers.

SERVICES: The program is limited to primary care defined as:

  • a service provided and/or authorized by physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
  • diagnostic laboratory or radiologic services necessary to complete treatment.
  • health promotion/ disease prevention services – such as perinatal care, family planning, and well child examinations that include developmental assessments, hearing and vision evaluations.
  • preventive and limited restorative dental services.
  • pharmaceutical services necessary to complete treatment.

TARGET POPULATION: Farmworkers and their dependents are eligible regardless of immigration status. A farmworker is a person who reports employment, at any time during the last 24 months, in either of the two following categories:

MIGRATORY AGRICULTURAL WORKER: defined as an individual whose principle employment is in agriculture on a seasonal basis, who has been so employed within the last 24 months, and who establishes, for the purpose of such employment, a temporary place of abode; or

SEASONAL AGRICULTURAL WORKER: defined as an individual whose principle employment is in agriculture on a seasonal basis and who is not a migratory agricultural worker.

FINANCIAL ELIGIBILITY: In order to qualify for services payable through the voucher program, the family must, (in addition to meeting the farmworker definition above, except for essential services for the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis):

  • have a total household income below 200% of the federal poverty level guideline.
  • not be covered by any other type of employer health plan or insurance, e.g., Medicaid, Medicare, or BC/BS, although in certain limited circumstances, reimbursement may be considered.

Self declaration of agricultural migratory status and/or income level is sufficient if documentation is unavailable. Eligibility is updated annually.

Click here to view the eligibility chart.

ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE: Generally, migrant/seasonal farmworkers experience the same misfortunes as others who are low-income and have little or no access to employer-sponsored health insurance. Their plight is compounded by other barriers. Wage rates are typically lower and transportation less reliable. Few agricultural employers offer health insurance. Language, culture, and work opportunities may keep them isolated. They may migrate with families who are also have health care needs. Housing is often substandard. Health professionals may be unfamiliar with problems of this group or resistant to treating them in their private practices. A significant barrier to care for the MSFW population is inability to speak fluent English. Poor language skills act as an isolator, hampering both the provider and client. Health professionals who are willing to provide care are generally not bilingual and may have difficulty planning care or responding to health concerns and treatment goals.