Press Release

October 4, 2017

OHCA Contacts: Jo Stainsby - (405) 522-7474

OHCA's statement on budget contingency plans

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) was notified Oct. 2 by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) that the agency must submit a revised budget by Oct. 10. The new budget must accommodate for the $70 million state funds that were appropriated to the agency and lost when the Supreme Court ruled the smoking cessation fee as unconstitutional.   

In order to comply with the OMES request and transparency requirements, the agency has announced potential provider rate reductions should no additional revenues be found. These rate reductions, if approved by the OHCA board, will be effective Dec. 1. 

“The Oklahoma Health Care Authority continues to work hand-in-hand with the Oklahoma legislature and are optimistic that together we will continue to protect providers from rate reductions. However, we must also answer this request from OMES and provide a worst-case budget scenario,” said OHCA CEO Becky Pasternik-Ikard. “We will continue to openly communicate these requirements with providers, the legislature and other stakeholders while reemphasizing that it is our goal to protect the program from further reductions. In the event the agency receives any additional funding this fiscal year, we can revisit these reductions and the budget we plan to file with OMES.”


The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) administers two health programs for the state. The first is SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program. SoonerCare works to improve the health of qualified Oklahomans by ensuring that medically necessary benefits and services are available. Qualifying Oklahomans include certain low-income children, seniors, the disabled, those being treated for breast or cervical cancer and those seeking family planning services. The second program OHCA operates is Insure Oklahoma, which assists qualifying adults and small business employees in obtaining health care coverage for themselves and their families. Currently, there are 827,962 Oklahomans enrolled in OHCA’s programs. The agency contracts with a network of 44,436 providers. For more information, visit