Many Beneficiaries Enrolled In Oklahoma Insurance Premium Assistance Program

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Enrollmentin the Oklahoma Employer/EmployeePartnership for Insurance Coverage, the state's health insurance premium assistance program, has exceeded10,000 beneficiaries for the first time in the program's three-year history,the Oklahoman reports.

The most current count of beneficiariesis 10,776, up from 1,557 beneficiaries 15 months ago. State residents withincomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible for the program,and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority has requested permission from thefederal government to increase the income eligibility threshold to 250% of thepoverty level.

Under the employer portion of the program, which began in 2005, the authorityprovides subsidies to businesses with up to 50 employees to offset the costs ofhealth plan premiums. Employees contribute a maximum of 15% of the cost ofpremiums. The authority also administers the portion of the program thatprovides premium assistance for individual policies, which started in March2007. The authority contributes 60% or more of premium costs. The program isfunded through state tobacco taxes (Raymond, Oklahoman, 5/14).

Reprintedwith permission from kaise

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