The opportunity to accept the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma along with the rest of the states in the country was presented in 2012. The ACA Medicaid expansion proposed that eligibility requirements should be expanded to include more applicants into the program. Most applicants wondered, “What is the expansion of Medicaid and will Oklahoma accept it?” when news of the expansion hit. Each state had the opportunity to decide if it wanted to expand the Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility requirements to qualify for affordable health care based on income limits alone. Standard enrollment requirements for Medicaid prior to the proposed ACA expansion considered earnings but had additional personal qualification such as age and health status. Residents who submit an Affordable Care Act Medicaid application and have a collective household income that does not surpass the specific percentage of the federal poverty line qualify for benefits in areas that accepted the eligibility expansion. However, the ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states increases as more residents become eligible to receive benefits. Find more Oklahoma Obamacare Medicaid expansion details outlined below.
Learn About the ACA Medicaid Expansion in Oklahoma
What is the Obamacare Medicaid expansion and how is Oklahoma affected? The new Obamacare Medicaid expansion details would have expanded eligibility to those with earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty line, regardless of previous stipulations that involved disability and household composition. Along with Washington D.C., 31 states accepted the ACA Medicaid expansion and opted to increase coverage and the financial burden. However, Oklahoma was one of the 19 states that opted out of Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion coverage. This means that without the ACA Medicaid expansion, OK residents applying for Medicaid coverage must the same eligibility requirements.
In 2016, news spread that Oklahoma was considering the Medicaid expansion and was about to reach an agreement. However, the legislation for the ACA expansion of Medicaid did not pass. There was budgetary issues in Oklahoma that ultimately led to the consideration of cutting Medicaid provider reimbursement rates by 25 percent. Yet, Oklahoma lawmakers passed a budget that negated the reduction in reimbursement, but also did not push the Medicaid expansion forward at all. The ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states were seemingly too high for Oklahoma, despite federal provisions being provided to smooth the transition. The fact that the Obamacare Medicaid expansion details allowed for more coverage, this meant more money needed for the coverage. The ACA expansion of Medicaid posed a serious financial issue for Oklahoma, which is one of the main factors of consideration in opting out.
Find out what are the requirements to enroll in Medicaid by reviewing our comprehensive guide.
What does opting out of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion mean for Oklahoma?
Opting out of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma means that nothing changes for existing Medicaid beneficiaries and potentially petitioners. There were no updates to Affordable Care Act Medicaid application procedures nor changes to Medicaid eligibility. The guidelines in order for an applicant to be considered eligible for Medicaid coverage remained the same. The aged, disabled and blind as well as parents and pregnant women are eligible for Medicaid benefits at the same poverty levels as before.
While other states in the country that chose the ACA expansion for Medicaid saw a national average growth of 27 percent in enrollment, Oklahoma only saw an enrollment growth of 1.5 percent. This means that the estimated 140,000 people who would have been covered under the Affordable Care Act expansion in Oklahoma, were denied Medicaid insurance options. In addition to these statistics, opting out of Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma allowed the $8.6 billion in federal funding from 2013 to 2022 to be left behind.
Will Oklahoma ever expand its Medicaid program?
Many residents often wonder, “Will the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma ever happen?” It is hard to know if the ACA Medicaid expansion will be enacted for Oklahoma in the future. If Oklahoma ever decided to expand ACA Medicaid coverage then they would certainly receive an influx of petitioners who would be eligible for benefits within the state.
Although Oklahoma did not accept the ACA expansion to include low-income residents with earnings less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level, the state Medicaid will accept parents and caretakers of minors with exceptional low earnings. Households that are not Medicaid eligible may still be able to sign children up for health care coverage through the state’s Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Likewise, there are other health care programs available to state residents such as Medicare, Insure Oklahoma and Oklahoma Cares.
Discover how to apply for Medicaid by downloading our in-depth guide.