Monday, June 30, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced the state of Oklahoma has been granted a one-year extension for the Insure Oklahoma program.
The program, scheduled to expire at the end of 2014, has been extended through Dec. 31, 2015.
“This is great news for the thousands of adults and children who currently buy health insurance through Insure Oklahoma,” said Fallin. “These Oklahomans and their families can now be assured that they won’t lose their insurance on January 1.”
Insure Oklahoma provides health insurance for almost 19,000 working, low-income Oklahomans. It is funded by the state’s tobacco tax matched with federal dollars. This is the second extension for Insure Oklahoma in less than a year granted by the federal government, which originally considered having the program expire at the beginning of 2014.
Insure Oklahoma also serves approximately 4,280 small businesses, which rely on it for assistance in providing employer-sponsored insurance.
“The staff at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) wants to express their thanks to Governor Fallin for her support and assistance in negotiations with the federal government to keep the Insure Oklahoma program available,” said OHCA Chief Executive Officer Nico Gomez. “This extension gives us solid hope that the federal government views the program as favorably as we do and allows us to maintain it on a permanent basis. We encourage small businesses and their employees to investigate Insure Oklahoma when they shop for affordable health insurance.”
Fallin said she and her administration will continue to work with federal officials to make the program permanent. Insure Oklahoma is the kind of state-based health care option the federal government should be supporting, she said.
"For years, Insure Oklahoma has been successfully used by thousands of small businesses to help their employees purchase insurance, and it’s been a success for tens of thousands of families of modest means who would be uninsured without it.
“I would like to thank the OHCA team for their outstanding commitment to secure this extension and their dedication to successfully implementing this program," said Fallin.
The governor said Insure Oklahoma is popular in the state; voters in 2004 approved a ballot measure to fund it through tobacco taxes.
More information about the program is available at www.insureoklahoma.org.