News Release

May 4, 2011

OHCA Contacts: Jo Kilgore - (405) 522-7474, Carter Kimble - (405) 522-7510

Programs Targeting Women Featured During National Health Week

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) suggests women across the state take time at Mother’s Day to consider some programs and services in which they might qualify to participate.

National Women’s Health Week starts on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, and extends through Saturday, May 14. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the health observance. OHCA offers several programs through SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) which could improve women’s health.

Oklahoma Cares is a program for women from 19 to 64 years of age with an abnormal breast or cervical finding, or diagnosis of breast or cervical cancer, who have no insurance coverage and meet income qualifications. The program provides full SoonerCare benefits for the women as long as they need treatment for their cancer. To learn more about program guidelines and services, visit www.okhca.org/ok-cares or call the Oklahoma State Department of Health at (866) 550-5585.

SoonerPlan – OHCA’s family planning program – is designed to reduce unintended pregnancies and encourage healthier women and a healthier Oklahoma while reducing SoonerCare costs associated with pregnancies. The program offers family planning services to qualifying Oklahomans 19 years of age and older.

The OB (Pregnancy) Outreach Project helps pregnant SoonerCare members gain faster access to critical prenatal care. The result is more women receive the appropriate level of prenatal care on a timely basis, improving health outcomes at a lower cost.

An educational program sponsored by the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition sends free messages each week during the mother’s pregnancy and the baby’s first year. As part of this program, women receive information on their cell phones through Text4baby. To begin receiving the text messages, text BABY to 511411 or BEBE at 511411 for messages in Spanish.

For women who want to quit smoking, especially pregnant women concerned about smoking’s effects on the health of their unborn child, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline offers one-on-one quit coaching, specialized materials and referrals to community resources.

Participants in the program may also receive free nicotine patches or gum, or they may be referred to their health insurance plan or health care professional for additional treatment. Women interested in the program can call 1-800-QUIT NOW (784-8669), or call 1-800-793-1552 for Spanish. Callers who are deaf or have a hearing impairment can call 1-877-777-6534.

Low to moderate income women who don’t qualify for SoonerCare and work for a small business in Oklahoma might qualify for Insure Oklahoma, the state’s premium assistance program. Insure Oklahoma helps qualifying employees at approved small businesses pay their private market insurance premiums. If the employee works for a small business that doesn’t offer health insurance, they might qualify for Insure Oklahoma's Individual Plan. Individuals who qualify gain access to an affordable health care option offered through the OHCA. For more information, visit www.insureoklahoma.org.

Oklahomans who receive their health insurance benefits through SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) can now renew their coverage or apply for coverage online at www.mysoonercare.org. More information about any of the SoonerCare benefits or programs is available at the OHCA website, www.okhca.org.

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