OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The $ 164 million allocated by the Oklahoma legislature to pay for the state’s share in the Medicaid expansion remains unchanged in a state agency savings account, have state lawmakers learned on Monday.
Oklahoma Health Care Authority CEO Kevin Corbett told members of the House and Senate that the agency used savings generated by the expansion of Medicaid, as well as improved federal COVID-19 relief funds for the states, to pay for the expansion so far.
The savings were generated by moving approximately 65,000 Oklahoma residents whose health care costs were previously funded by the state’s Insure Oklahoma plan or other sources to the broader Medicaid population, where the federal government covers 90% of the costs.
Corbett told lawmakers that about 700 to 800 Oklahoma residents qualify for health coverage every day as part of the Medicaid expansion, though he expects that number to slow in the next few months. months to come. On Monday, Corbett said about 170,000 people had qualified for Medicaid as part of the expansion. The Health Care Authority has predicted that about 215,000 residents would be eligible for expanded Medicaid, and Corbett says those projections are likely still accurate.
After a decade of Republican resistance to expansion in Oklahoma, voters narrowly approved a constitutional amendment last year to expand eligibility for benefits. Now, a person earning up to $ 17,796 per year, or $ 36,588 for a family of four, is eligible for Medicaid health care coverage. In contrast, the median income limit for parents in states that have not extended their program is around $ 8,905 for a family of three, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.