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Health Insurance

At the beginning of November, hundreds of new laws took effect in Oklahoma, including a big change to short-term health policies.

Advocates Push For Medicaid Expansion In Oklahoma

Oct 17, 2019
Oklahomans Decide Healthcare announced they have collected the required 178,000 signatures to get the question on the ballot.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Medicaid expansion advocates are working to collect the required 178,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot next year. It would mean extending health insurance to thousands of people—and an estimated $100 million dollar price tag. As StateImpact’s Jackie Fortier reports, Medicaid expansion could be decided at the ballot box or at the statehouse.

For 2nd Straight Year, Oklahoma Sees Increase In Number Of Uninsured

Sep 11, 2019
Visitors enter an emergency room at a rural Oklahoma hospital.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

For just the third time this decade, more Oklahomans went without health coverage in the most recent year compared with the year before. The drop was slight, but could factor into discussions of proposals to expand Medicaid or make other policy changes.

Cheaper, stripped-down health plans could soon see a resurgence in Oklahoma, potentially reducing the number of uninsured while leaving policyholders with unexpected medical bills.

About 82,000 children in Oklahoma lack health insurance, ranking the state 48th in the nation.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

After a decade of improvement, a new study suggests the rate of uninsured children is increasing in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma is blaming the Trump administration for failing to approve an expedited plan that was projected to lower health insurance premiums and entice thousands of uninsured Oklahomans to sign up for coverage.

Nico Gomez, CEO of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.
Warren Vieth / Oklahoma Watch

A new plan from Oklahoma’s Medicaid agency would provide coverage for uninsured Oklahomans, and would tap into federal matching funds.

Oklahoma Health Care Authority CEO Nico Gomez addressed Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders on Thursday to present the three-part “Medicaid Rebalancing Act of 2020.”

“We came up with a plan that does not expand Medicaid, but actually puts 350,000 people into the commercial healthcare market over a four year period so it really starts to stabilize by reducing the number of uninsured by 35 percent,” Gomez said.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

The Affordable Care Act health insurance market in Oklahoma faces big changes next year, with the dominant company moving 40,000 people into different plans and three other companies dropping out entirely.

On Jan. 1, Oklahoma will be left with only two companies offering individual health plans in the “Obamacare” market:  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the existing market leader, and UnitedHealthcare, a new entry.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Affordable Care Act health insurance rates are expected to rise in Oklahoma in 2016, and the state Insurance Department insists it cannot do anything about rates except review and approve the paperwork.

In the past, however, the department held a somewhat different view, according to a former high-ranking state insurance official.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahomans who buy health insurance for next year from the largest insurer on the Affordable Care Act marketplace could face double-digit rate increases running as high as 44 percent, filings with the federal government show. 

Oklahomans who purchase health insurance policies next year from the leadinginsurer in the Affordable Care Act marketplace could face unsubsidized rate increases averaging 31 percent, Oklahoma Watch data research shows.

That’s how much Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma has asked the federal government to approve, on average, for all of its “Obamacare”-compliant individual health policies in 2016, according to an actuarial memo filed by the insurer.The proposal doesn’t apply to policies offered through employers.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Two private health insurance companies participating in the Affordable Care Act market in Oklahoma are expected to leave the program next year, while another big insurer wants in.

The shuffle, which would occur on Jan. 1, illustrates the rapid evolution of the “Obamacare” health insurance marketplace as it approaches its third year of operation. Some insurers are finding it difficult to make a profit on Affordable Care Act policies, while others see an opportunity that could pay off big over time.

Does State Have Plans If Thousands Lose Health Insurance?

Jun 13, 2015
ok.gov

Gov. Mary Fallin’s office won’t say if the state has a plan to help thousands of Oklahomans projected to lose their health insurance if their subsidies are struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court this month.

a stack of dollar bills with a stethoscope and bottle of pills
James Martin / Flickr

Federal health officials say nearly 125,000 Oklahomans have signed up for health insurance coverage through the federal marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced Wednesday that 124,838 Oklahoma consumers either selected a plan or were automatically reenrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Nationally, HHS says about 11.4 million Americans selected plans were automatically reenrolled.

The second year of open enrollment ended Sunday.