Public Announcements


Insure Oklahoma Questions

Attached is a memo from our lobbyist explaining SQ814, which is on the ballot on Tuesday.  Also addressed in the memo is information on the Insure Oklahoma Phase Out / Wavier Request.

We appreciate all the hard work our Legislative Committee does, along with the hard work and insight our lobbyist Seth Rott provides!




To:       Andrea Blevins; Connie Morgan Kitchen

From:   Seth Rott – McSpadden Milner Robinson

Date:   Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Re:       Insure Oklahoma Questions



Question: Would Passage of State Question 814 Negatively Impact Insure Oklahoma?


Answer: No. Insure Oklahoma is funded by taxes collected on the sales of cigarette and other tobacco products as levied in Title 68 Section 302-5. This tax was levied by a vote of the people with the adoption of State Question 713 in November of 2004.

Conversely, the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TEST) was formed by a vote of the people with the passage of State Question 692 which was adopted in 2000.

Insure Oklahoma does not receive any funding from TSET. Earmarking additional monies from TSET to the State Medicaid program to help pay for the expansion, which happened with the passage of State Question 802, will not impact funding for Insure Oklahoma.



Question: What is the Insure Oklahoma Phase Out / Waiver Request?

Answer: This is the implementation of the press release and statements put out by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. It is doing away with the Insure Oklahoma Individual Market and will modify eligibility for Insure Oklahoma ESI program. The impacted populations are as follows:

These changes are a result of the efforts of the Oklahoma Association of Health Underwriters and our legislative committee’s work back in May of this year where we pleaded with the Health Care Authority not to eliminate the ESI Program. Under the revisions, people with 133% FPL or below who are on an employer sponsored plan will be transitioned to the Medicaid Expansion population which was created by the passage of State Question 802 in June 2020.

Further changes to the ESI Program should be considered to allow for the creation of higher quality products to be offered through the program outside of Platinum products.

This issue is a state issue not one of federal jurisdiction, as such we should examine any statutory and regulatory changes needed to give the carriers as much flexibility to create affordable and modernized products. 


Volunteer Opportunity!

Membership Committee Needs YOU!

Want to join an OKAHU committee, but don't know where to start? The Membership Committee wants you!

  • Need a few volunteers for no more than 1 hour a month
  • Duties include:
    • Call prospective new members to invite them to one of the upcoming monthly meetings
    • Call an existing member to remind them to attend the upcoming meeting
    • Each month you will receive a list of 3 or 4 prospective new / existing members to be called
  • A call script will be provided
  • If you're interested in this volunteer opportunity contact Cathy Van Zant at [email protected].                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Easy Peasey!


Summer Sizzler Virtual 5K Run/Walk

Have you registered yet? Sign-up closes this Friday, Aug. 7th!

If you aren’t sure how to track your 5k, Strava is a free app you can use to help measure your distance and speed. It’s easy to set up and after you are finished with your 5k you can share your results with everyone on our Facebook page!

- Register by Friday and pick up your T-shirt at Red Coyote on Aug. 15th 10am-4pm

- Run anytime Saturday, Aug.15th through Monday, Aug. 31st

- Post your pic & time on the Facebook page: OKAHU Public Service




OKC Health Underwriter of the Year 2019-2020

Congratulations to Megan Hutton!!  Megan won the OKAHU Health Underwriter Person of the Year for 2019-2020!

Megan joined the Board, jumped right in with great ideas & suggestions, and revamped our Annual Sponsors program to include more benefits for different sponsor levels.  Megan has a "go-getter" attitude and is always willing to help make our Association the best it can be.  Way to go Megan!


OSAHU Member of the Year 2019-2020

Congratulations to Diane Barton-Lewis!!  She is the OSAHU Dave Shepherd Memorial Health Underwriter of the Year!  This is quite the prestigious honor.  It is given to a person who provides leadership, support, service, and active participation to NAHU's local, state, regional and/or national efforts.

Way to go Diane!  We greatly appreciate your leadership and involvement in our Associations!



June 8, 2020

Dear OSAHU member members,

Our State Association is in the middle of one of the biggest legislative fights in the history of our association. Our association’s motto is “Protecting the Consumer’s Future”. The future of the Insure Oklahoma employer sponsored insurance (ESI) program, and health coverage for many employers and their employee’s, has been threatened since the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) announced it was terminating the program effective December 31, 2020.

On May 26, 2020 the OSAHU Legislative Committee delivered the enclosed letter to Governor Stitt’s office about the problems associated with the IO ESI pending termination. We quickly learned that Governor Stitt, the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority and State House & Senate Representatives did not know that over 14,000 IO ESI covered members would lose coverage and not have the means, nor the ability, to replace it with coverage funded by advanced premium tax credits thru the Federal Marketplace.

Also, our Association’s position on Insure OK ESI’s termination was printed in an article in The Oklahoman on May 28, 2020. Click on this link to read the story.

We want to thank all of our members and employers who reached out to the Governor’s office, OHCA, their State Legislator State House & Senate Representatives to apprise them of why the Insure OK ESI program needs to be preserved. Great job everyone!

Currently, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority has “suspended” phasing out Insure OK ESI program. The key word is "suspended".  Everyone’s efforts were successful at helping the IO ESI program not get terminated by the end of 2020.

Our ultimate goal is to permanently protect IO ESI members coverage that fall between the 134% (138%) - 200% FPL, because they won't qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits due to their employer offering a group health plan. Regardless of the outcome of either Medicaid Expansion plan, we must remain vigilant for if and when the next round of attacks resume on IO ESI.

There are several scenarios that could take place. Here are the most obvious ones right now:

  1. State Question 802 passes. IO ESI's $21,000,000 current funding will be at risk for termination again, unless we can convince the decision makers to not terminate the program and find funding from another resource.
  2. State Question 802 does not pass. If this were to happen, then the Governors SoonerCare 2.0, or a new version of it, will most likely come back on the table. IO ESI's $21,000,000 current funding will then be at risk again.

We want all OSAHU members to decide for themselves how they vote on State Question 802. This is a personal decision for each member to make. OSAHU's efforts to protect the IO ESI program is a separate issue.  

The OSAHU Legislative Committee and Seth Rott, our Lobbyist, have decided to postpone our current educational activities with employers, OHCA, the Governor and Legislators due to OHCA's "suspension". We will wait and see what future IO ESI attacks look like and revamp our strategy at that time. The good news is the program is protected for now, but we don't know for how long.

Thank you again for job well done. We will keep you updated as anything new develops that threatens the future of the Insure Oklahoma ESI program. Please let us know if you have any questions.


Connie Morgan Kitchen__________

Connie Morgan Kitchen (405.843.8300)

Oklahoma State Association of Health Underwriters Legislative Chair


Andrea Blevins________________________

Andrea Blevins (918.625.9584)

Tulsa Association of Health Underwriters Legislative Chair


Emily Hedinger__________________

Emily Hedinger  (405.919.6459)

Oklahoma City Association of Health Underwriters Legislative Chair


Seth Rott_____________________________

Seth Rott  (405.246.6847)

Vice President of Public Affairs & Special Projects

McSpadden Milner Robinson, LLC

Contract Lobbyist for Oklahoma State Association of Health Underwriters





Dear OKAHU Member,

     Seth Rott, our Lobbyist at MMR, has been working with our OSAHU Legislative Committee about the Insure Oklahoma ESI program being terminated effective December 31, 2020. We are writing you to provide a little bit of background information on what is currently happening with Insure Oklahoma ESI program. As some of you are aware, Governor Kevin Stitt has applied for waivers under the Trump Administration’s Healthy Adult Opportunity to implement what he is calling SoonerCare 2.0,an ambitious program that would expand Medicaid to approximately 135,000 Oklahomans.

     As part of ‘SoonerCare 2.0’ Oklahoma still would have to come up with its ten percent matching share. There is a state question that was proposed by the Oklahoma Legislature (SJR27) which would place 75% of the TSET interest funds generated into a fund for the legislature to pay for a portion of state share.

     Additionally, they passed an increase in the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program (SHOPP) fee, and they passed Senate Bill 1073 which would allow the Oklahoma HealthCare Authority (OHCA) to access the approximate $21 million that is earmarked for the state share of Insure Oklahoma. This proves problematic for the continuation of the Insure Oklahoma program. When these concerns were expressed by legislators to the governor, there was not much interest in retaining the individual or ESI program.

     Officials responsible for implementing SoonerCare 2.0 have stated that the current Insure Oklahoma population can get policies on the Federal Marketplace as created by the Affordable Care Act, or enroll in Medicaid Expansion plans if they make less than 133% of the Federal Poverty Level. As many of you know, if an employer has employees on a small group plan, and still offers the non-Insure Oklahoma group benefit, then the employee will not qualify to receive advanced premium tax credits on the Federal Marketplace to lower their individual medical premium costs.

     With a SoonerCare 2.0 proposed launch date of June 1, and a projected termination date of Insure Oklahoma as of December 31, 2020, there is not much appetite at the Governor’s office to restructure the proposals being sent to Washington D.C. for approval by CMS.

     There is a final attempt that can be made during the OHCA and federal public comment period. We are including this information for you and your clients to give feedback to CMS.

  • Email your Federal public comments by June 14, 2020 to: [email protected]
  • To make OHCA public comment by June 14, 2020, click on this link:


     Attached is a letter that we as the State Association are sending to Governor Stitt explaining the problem’s we foresee with the implementation of SoonerCare 2.0 through the termination of Insure Oklahoma, and finally asking him to please reconsider. Without identifying another funding source to fill the projected $21 million that currently goes to Insure Oklahoma, stoppage of the 1115 Insure Oklahoma Demonstration Expiration Plan proposal seems unlikely.

     Watch for an Operation Shout that will focus on making federal and OHCA public comment, that you will be able to quickly forward to your clients for their participation.

     Lastly, we would like for you to please consider sharing any ideas or proposals that you believe could be offered by the State to small businesses, who are going to be impacted by this change, to help these employers secure benefits for their employees.

Thank you for your time on this matter. Please contact us with any questions.

Connie Morgan Kitchen (405.843.8300)
Oklahoma State Association of Health Underwriters Legislative Chair

Andrea Blevins (918.625.9584)
Tulsa Association of Health Underwriters Legislative Chair

Emily Hedinger (405.919.6459)
Oklahoma City Association of Health Underwriters Legislative Chair

Seth Rott (405-246-6847)
Vice President of Public Affairs & Special Projects
McSpadden Milner Robinson, LLC
Contract Lobbyist for Oklahoma State Association of Health Underwriters


OKAHU Announcements: Social and Fundraiser

      "That's My Pan" Fundraiser orders due by December 10th &  Member Social on December 12th!!



Member Social!

When: Thursday, December 12th

Where: Bricktown Brewery on Memorial (5516 W. Memorial Road, OKC)

Time: 4-6pm

Each member and guest will receive 2 drink tickets.  Hors d'oeuvres will be served.  Please RSVP via OKAHU website (on Home page) so we know headcount!

Bring a new toy and/or a gift card (Walmart, Target, any restaurants) to benefit families at Toby Keith's OK Kids Korral!


NOTE: There will NOT be an Association meeting at 11:30am on 12/12.  We recognize 4th quarter is very busy for our agents/brokers.  We hope you can join us for a couple of hours in the afternoon to socialize, contribute to the families statying at OK Kids Korral, and celebrate the holidays with us!



The Oklahoma State AHU is havng a fundraiser with That's My Pan!  Personalize your pan, tumbler, cutting boards, etc.  Lots of items to choose from!

Support OSAHU and do some holiday shopping!  

10% of proceeds will go to support OSAHU, or feel free to make a monetary donation instead.

Order by December 10th to receive item by Christmas!