OK Health Care Authority Budget impacts health insurance options

Deborah Shipley's picture
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The Oklahoma Health Care Authority, (OKHCA) board has approved its newest budget which included new revenue sources. These sources include increased premiums from InsureOK, the state affordable health insurance program and federal stimulus dollars.

Officials told board members on July 8th, that it has received $7.7 million in new revenue. The new revenue from Insure Oklahoma participants is due in no small part to allowing patients to sign up for the program directly during emergency room or doctor visits. By providing easier access to signing up for the program, that is more in premium amounts. Further, the OKHCA has instituted a 3.25% rate cute for reimbursements, and a new 1% insurance fee paid for by insurance companies in the state.

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While this is good news for OKHCA, one has to wonder at the effects it will have on Oklahoma residents looking for affordable health insurance options. Insure Oklahoma (InsureOK) is the state-run program for those whose employers do not offer health insurance. For those who do not qualify for Insure Oklahoma, they may pay the price for the 1% insurance fee charged to the insurance companies as they have to pay full price.

Oklahoma residents, like many others across the nation, can ill afford to cover the costs of the new insurance fee. Some residents are afraid that even though they belong to InsureOK, they will be asked to pay higher premiums. Resident “Misty” said, “I can’t afford health insurance as it is on my own. With InsureOK, I can get a discount to make sure me and my kids are covered. But if they raise premiums, I’m not going to be able afford it anymore.”

For more information on InsureOK, please visit the website

For more information on affordable health insurance in Oklahoma, please visit here

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