OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Although Oklahomans will be heading to the polls in a matter of days to decide whether or not to expand Medicaid, state leaders say they are coming up with other ways to improve the system.
In recent years, there has been a push across the state to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma.
Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2014, Oklahoma has rejected federal money for Medicaid expansion.
”Right now, the fact that we’re not accepting Medicaid expansion, we’re turning away over a billion dollars a year annually,” Yes on 802 Campaign Manager Amber England said.
In October, volunteers with ‘Yes on 802’ turned in thousands of signatures in order to get State Question 802, which would expand Medicaid, on the ballot. The group needed 178,000 signatures to move their petition forward.
In the end, the group broke a state record for turning in the most signatures in state history with 313,000. After being analyzed by the Secretary of State’s office, the agency verified 300,000 signatures.
On June 30, Oklahomans will vote on State Question 802 to decide whether or not to expand Medicaid.
Before the vote takes place, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced that a state agency is looking at other ways to improve Oklahoma’s Medicaid system.
The Oklahoma Health Care Authority says it will seek proposals from qualified managed care organizations to facilitate health care services to eligible and enrolled members of SoonerCare.
The request for proposals is expected to be released this fall.
“I am committed to making Oklahoma a Top Ten state in health outcomes, and engaging providers through a managed care organization will help us achieve our goal of ensuring Oklahomans receive improved access and quality care,” Governor Kevin Stitt said. “While we do expect cost savings to follow the improved health outcomes, the state will continue to be laser-focused on helping Oklahomans.”
“Our commitment is to serving Oklahomans in the best way possible,” OHCA CEO Kevin Corbett said. “An MCO program will allow the state to coordinate SoonerCare members’ needs in the best way possible with providers, while containing costs through a capitated, risk-based model.”