OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OCHA) says around 200,000 Oklahomans will maintain their health coverage for another 90 days, thanks to the Federal Health and Human Services’ latest extension of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

In March of 2020, some Medicaid eligibility requirements were waived to help people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. 

OHCA estimates approximately 200,000 currently-enrolled SoonerCare members could be affected once the emergency declaration ends.

That announcement is expected to come sometime this year.

“The staff at OHCA continue to diligently prepare for the end of the PHE as well as communicate the best we can with those possibly ineligible SoonerCare members and their providers as well community leaders as we gain more information from our federal partners,” said Traylor Rains, State Medicaid Director.

Once an end date is announced, OHCA will alert affected Oklahomans.

Officials say each member’s official end date could vary based on the phased-out approach OHCA will use to remove ineligible members from SoonerCare.

“OHCA will use a compassionate risk-based approach, focusing on member utilization and critical health needs,” said Kevin Corbett, Secretary of Health and Mental Health and CEO of OHCA. “We will do everything we can to provide affected members with resources to help them once they are no longer eligible for SoonerCare.”

To verify eligibility, OHCA is asking members to update their information and documentation, so the agency can contact members through U.S. mail, emails and phone calls.

OHCA members who become ineligible will receive three notices:

  • An initial notification letter from OHCA will be mailed once the end date of the public health emergency is announced. This notification letter will detail the specific end date of benefits for each member.
  • A second notice will be sent to members 45 days prior to their scheduled end date to inform them of the reason for loss of eligibility, potentially missing documents to verify eligibility and appeal rights.
  • A third notice will then go out 10 days before the member loses eligibility.

If you have any issues with your Medicaid account, call the SoonerCare helpline at 1-800-987-7767.