News Release

August 23, 2012

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

SoonerCare Enrollment Passes One Million

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) marked a milestone by providing more than 1 million Oklahomans with access to health care during state fiscal year 2012. The agency has recently launched a campaign, Tell Us Your Story, asking SoonerCare members to share their experiences with the program to help create awareness of the program and its benefits.

The total enrollment for SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) and Insure Oklahoma (IO) has reached a historic high by providing 1,007,356 Oklahomans – 396,860 adults and 610,496 children – with access to health insurance – that is 1 in 4 Oklahomans.

SoonerCare provides access to health care for low-income Oklahomans, primarily children, pregnant women, aged and persons with disabilities, who would otherwise go uninsured.”

Members may access their health care providers regularly in order to improve their overall health and to receive preventive services that in turn could reduce the chance for serious health problems in the future.
 
Insure Oklahoma's Employer-Sponsored Insurance plan provides small business owners with financial assistance to help pay health insurance premiums through the private market for their low to moderate income employees. IO also provides a way for individuals who participate in the Individual Plan to gain access to an affordable health care option if their employer does not offer health care insurance.

Despite inflation and the increasing “cost of living”, SoonerCare has maintained a relatively low cost growth. The cost to provide health care services to an individual SoonerCare member has only increased an average of 1.2 percent a year; which is lower than the national Medicaid growth rate of 2.6 percent.

The low costs can partially be attributed to programs such as the nurse-led care management effort, adoption of the patient-centered medical home model, and initiatives to reduce costs, such as inappropriate emergency room use.

 “Sometimes I think we tend to lose sight of the fact that these are not just numbers. We’re talking about people and their lives and their health. We’re talking about more than one million of our fellow Oklahomans – our family and neighbors – receiving access to health care and life saving treatments,” said OHCA CEO Mike Fogarty.

One such Oklahoman is Brady Wells. When he was 15, Wells’ life was saved, thanks in part to SoonerCare, after finding out that he needed a heart transplant following a routine medical check-up.

Wells’ mother shared their story as part of the OHCA’s new campaign, “Tell Us Your Story.” Through the campaign, the agency is asking current and former SoonerCare members to share how the program has made a difference in their lives by providing access to quality health care.

If you are SoonerCare member, or a former member, go to http://www.okhca.org/tellus and tell us your story or read how SoonerCare has touched the lives of other Oklahomans.

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