Public Announcements

 

URGENT PLEASE READ

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:

                http://www.okhca.org/xPolicyChange.aspx?id=24777&blogid=68505

     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