Public Announcements

 

URGENT PLEASE READ - Insure OK Update

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. https://www.google.com/amp/s/oklahoman.com/article/5663282/insurance-observers-worried-about-the-future-of-insure-oklahoma/amp

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