In 2014, the federal government gave U.S. states the option to expand Medicaid coverage eligibility to more low-income adults. On June 30th, 2020, Oklahoma voters approved the passage of State Question 802, which effectively brought Medicaid expansion within the state Constitution.
The expansion is slated to cost approximately $1.3 billion, 90 percent of which will be covered by funding from the federal government. Oklahoma joins 38 other states that have adopted the Medicaid expansion since it became available.
What Is Medicaid Expansion in Oklahoma?
Medicaid expansion will help provide low-income health care coverage for Oklahoma residents. Previously, Medicaid was only available to Oklahoma children, pregnant women, blind, disabled, or elderly residents of Oklahoma. Soon, people will be eligible for this medical insurance based on their income. The approved ballot measure also contains language that forbids administrators from establishing any restrictions or burdens that would affect eligibility or enrollment for those who are newly eligible under the expansion.
Residents who are now eligible under the expansion will have access to the same healthcare coverage that is available to current recipients of Medicaid benefits. SoonerCare, the program responsible for administering Medicaid in Oklahoma, currently serves nearly one million state residents.
Kevin Corbett, CEO of Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), estimates that there will be approximately 200,000 new Medicaid applicants in Oklahoma as a result of the expansion. Mr. Corbett pointed out that physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers will also benefit from the expansion because they should now receive compensation for services they’ve previously provided on an “uncompensated basis.”
Do I Qualify for Medicaid in Oklahoma?
The new expansion makes coverage available to Oklahoma residents between the ages of 19 and 64 who have an annual income at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. As of 2021, this includes:
- Individuals with an annual income of $17,796 or less
- Families of two with an annual income of $24,040 or less
- Families of four with an annual income of $36,588 or less
How Do I Apply for Medicaid?
The OHCA will begin taking applications for those eligible under the new expansion rules on June 1, 2021. Oklahomans who now qualify for Medicaid will have an extra month to apply before standard open enrollment begins on July 1st.
Eligible Oklahomans may begin the application process by visiting mysoonercare.org. Before you begin, you should have the following information on hand:
- Records of taxable income
- Employment and income details
- Social security numbers for all members of your household
- Recent health insurance details
- Identity and citizenship details
- Due dates for pregnant household members
How Medicaid Expansion Could Help with Your Social Security Disability Claim
If you have a disability, you may be wondering about applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in addition to Medicaid. The good news is that the recent Medicaid expansion could help you qualify for both.
In many cases, disabled individuals are no longer able to work because of their medical impairments. They may miss out on employer-sponsored health insurance coverage during the SSDI application process, which can take months or even years. With Medicaid expansion, you can now apply for and receive Medicaid benefits during this waiting period.
In addition to ensuring you can access the medical care you need, Medicaid benefits can also help you strengthen your SSDI claim. In most cases, Medicaid applicants must provide a medical record of their disabilities. If you’ve had difficulty affording the doctor’s visits you need to establish a record of your physical condition, newly available Medicaid coverage can help.
Contact an Oklahoma Medicaid Lawyer Today
If you have questions about Oklahoma Medicaid expansion or how to strengthen your SSDI claim, Ryan Bisher Ryan and Simons can help. We have been in business for more than 35 years, and our lawyers are well-versed in Medicaid & SSDI law. Contact us today for a free consultation.