News Release

October 1, 2014

OHCA Contacts: Jo Kilgore - (405) 522-7474, Jennie Melendez - (405) 522-7404  

SoonerCare focuses on prevention 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Easier access to tobacco cessation products and automatic text messaging to pregnant women are two new benefits aimed at improving the health of SoonerCare members. 

Effective Sept. 1, SoonerCare removed prior authorization requirements and copays from the seven FDA-approved tobacco cessation products. The approved products are bupropion SR (Zyban/Wellbutrin), varenicline (Chantix) and nicotine gum, inhalers, lozenges, nasal spray and patches. SoonerCare also provides its members with the “5 A-s” tobacco cessation counseling through qualified providers. 

In early October, about 30,000 pregnant women and mothers with infants who are enrolled in SoonerCare will receive a text message inviting them to opt-in (or sign up) for text4baby.  The mothers/caregivers will have to reply to the text in order to opt-in to the service. The free mobile information service is designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging.  

Text4baby participants receive three free text messages a week, timed to their due date or their baby’s birth date, through pregnancy and up until the baby’s first birthday. The messages address topics such as labor signs and symptoms, prenatal care, urgent alerts, developmental milestones, immunizations, nutrition, birth defect prevention, safe sleep, safety, and more. 

The program is open to all pregnant women or mothers with infants in Oklahoma who text BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411.  

“Ultimately the control of health care costs will result from having a healthier population.  Prevention is a cornerstone approach to achieving a healthier population and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority is dedicated to supporting preventive health whenever possible,” said Garth L. Splinter, M.D., state Medicaid Director. 

  About OHCA 

Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, known as SoonerCare, is administered by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA). SoonerCare works to improve the health outcomes of Oklahomans by ensuring that medically necessary benefits and services are responsive to the health care needs of our members. Qualifying Oklahomans include certain low-income children, seniors, the disabled, those being treated for breast or cervical cancer and those seeking family planning services. Insure Oklahoma assists qualifying adults and small business employees in obtaining health care coverage for themselves and their families. OHCA strives to educate and engage our current 818,100 members regarding personal responsibilities for their health services utilization, behaviors, and outcomes in partnership with a state-wide network of 39,614 providers. For more information, visit