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 has 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., 40 states to date have accepted the ACA Medicaid expansion and opted to increase coverage and the financial burden. Oklahoma was originally one of the 19 states that opted out of Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion coverage, and although the legislature voted to expand Medicaid, the governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, vetoed the bill. However the Oklahoma Medicaid expansion question was put to the voters and they voted to approve it. ACA Medicaid expansion was approved in June 2020 and was implemented in July 2021, meaning that OK residents applying for Medicaid coverage now have lower eligibility requirements.
Find out what are the requirements to enroll in Medicaid by reviewing our comprehensive guide.
What does the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion mean for Oklahoma?
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 majority of the $8.6 billion in federal funding from 2013 to 2022 to be left behind. Before the Medicaid expansion, Oklahoma was one of only two states in the country that had an uninsured rate of over 14%. However, those numbers are starting to turn around, thanks to the recent Medicaid expansion.
The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma added more than 330,000 adults and 180,000 children to Medicaid coverage as of October 2022. Affordable Care Act Medicaid application procedures are simplified and many more people potentially have Medicaid eligibility. The guidelines in order for an applicant to be considered eligible for Medicaid coverage have changed, so that only income is taken into consideration as a qualification and low-income people without children became eligible.
Will Oklahoma residents be able to stay on the Medicaid program?
While vast improvements in Oklahoma’s uninsured rate have taken place because of the ACA Medicaid expansion, there is a concern that some people may lose coverage once the continuous enrollment requirement expires in April 2023. The continuous enrollment requirement promised states additional federal funding if they kept the majority of Medicaid members enrolled regardless of changing eligibility requirements and was part of the pandemic response. Some advocates are suggesting that the Oklahoma state government institute 12 months of continuous enrollment once this federal program ends in April.
If the legislature fails to extend continuous enrollment, households that no longer are 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.