Oklahoma health officials begin Medicaid expansion process

The Stitt administration is moving forward with plans to expand Medicaid to cover more low-income Oklahomans on July 1.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority on Friday submitted paperwork to expand Medicaid to adults ages 19-64 whose income does not exceed 133% of the federal poverty level, which is $16,970 annually for an individual and $34,846 for a family of four.

State health officials expect 220,000 Oklahomans will be newly eligible to receive Medicaid benefits under the expansion and 180,000 people will sign up.

The expansion is estimated to cost $1.24 billion annually. The state will have to pay about $150 million in the next fiscal year to cover 10% of the costs.

Gov. Kevin Stitt cheered Friday’s paperwork submission as the first step toward implementing his SoonerCare 2.0 health plan. But supporters of traditional Medicaid expansion criticized the governor’s plan and touted State Question 802, which seeks to expand Medicaid as the premier avenue to expand health care benefits in Oklahoma.

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