Oklahoma Policy Institute

12/11/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/11/2023 17:12

As SoonerCare renewals continue, it’s vital to connect to health care

As health care rules change following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) has been working to help Oklahomans who receive health insurance through SoonerCare/Medicaid keep their insurance. But for many individuals, action is needed to ensure eligible Oklahomans can keep their health care.

All Oklahomans insured by SoonerCare, regardless of changes in eligibility, received streamlined and consistent access to care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic because of the provisions of the federal public health emergency. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency on January 31, 2020 that ended earlier this year. With additional federal funding, OHCA provided continuous coverage to most SoonerCare enrollees, which kept the uninsured rate from increasing during the pandemic.

The pandemic-related changes have ended and all SoonerCare members must update their contact, employment and income information to determine ongoing eligibility. To maintain their coverage, current SoonerCare members should update their information as soon as possible at MySoonerCare.org, and all Oklahomans can use the site to learn if they're eligible for coverage.

Many Oklahomans have lost SoonerCare but are still eligible to reapply and get their SoonerCare renewed. Oklahomans who lose their SoonerCare coverage due to the unwinding process have a few options. If circumstances change or they believe they're still eligible, they can reapply for SoonerCare at MySoonerCare.org.

For general assistance connecting to any form of coverage, Oklahomans can visit myokplan.org. Anyone who is looking for coverage can also find in-person assistance at many county health departments, local health clinics, medical providers, and other organizations that help meet health care needs.

If SoonerCare recipients are no longer eligible or do not qualify for SoonerCare, they can enroll in coverage through the federal Marketplace. Private employers are also required to offer special enrollment periods to their employees who lose Medicaid coverage.

Marketplace plans are designed to be comprehensive and affordable thanks to federal subsidies that can be applied to create low-cost monthly premiums. To find local, in-person help with finding a health care plan on the ACA Marketplace, people can go to www.healthcare.gov/find-assistance.

To help OHCA get the word out about SoonerCare coverage and renewals, the agency has posted resources including videos, fliers, and other materials to help educate Oklahomans about these changes. You can help by sharing these materials with organizations in your community like churches, schools, and businesses. The resources can be found at oklahoma.gov/ohca/about/public-health-emergency.

The unwinding process will be complete on December 31, 2023.

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Together Oklahoma, the grassroots advocacy program of the Oklahoma Policy Institute, held OK Wellness Watch during October to help raise awareness about the Medicaid re-enrollment process. A link to the online event and a list of community partners is listed at togetherok.org/ok-wellness-watch.