Friday, July 10, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) announced today that federal funding for the Insure Oklahoma program has been secured through the end of 2016.
Insure Oklahoma is the state’s premium assistance program that helps businesses and their modest and low-income employees afford health insurance coverage. The program, which has been in operation since November 2005, currently serves 17,923 Oklahomans with more than 3,700 businesses participating.
“This funding extension is great news for the thousands of working Oklahomans and small businesses that rely on Insure Oklahoma for affordable health insurance options,” said Fallin. “Our goal moving forward continues to be securing a permanent extension for this successful, Oklahoma-based program.”
Insure Oklahoma is funded by state tobacco tax matched by federal Medicaid dollars. OHCA received notification from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) advising that federal funding for the program would continue through 2016.
“We want Oklahomans to know that Insure Oklahoma is open for business and we stand ready to help with their insurance needs,” said OHCA Chief Executive Officer Nico Gomez. “I appreciate our Insure Oklahoma and other OHCA employees for keeping this program moving forward and available for many working Oklahomans.”
Insure Oklahoma currently has two options. The employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) part of Insure Oklahoma pays at least 60 percent of the premiums for private market health insurance policies. Participating employers pay at least 25 percent of the qualified employee’s monthly premiums, and the employee pays no more than 15 percent of their health premium. The program also assists with premiums for the employee’s spouse.
Insure Oklahoma Individual Plan (IP) is for Oklahomans working for small businesses that do not have access to group coverage and who earn less than the federal poverty level, as well as those who are temporarily unemployed and seeking work.
The secured funding for an additional year will provide state leaders time to continue the discussion for a long-term funding agreement. More information about Insure Oklahoma is available at www.insureoklahoma.org.