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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — The State of Oklahoma is privatizing the Medicaid program.

On Friday the Secretary of Health and Mental Health and Oklahoma Health Care Authority CEO, Kevin Corbett, will announce the selected managed care organizations who will assist OHCA in implementing a comprehensive managed care delivery system for certain SoonerCare members.

The managed care program will be known as SoonerSelect.

The selected MCOs are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Complete Health, Humana Health Horizons and UnitedHealthcare. Each of the MCOs are established in Oklahoma and currently serving Oklahomans. An estimated 1,500 new jobs are expected to be created.

“Today we are one step closer to improving health care outcomes for Oklahomans,” said Oklahoma Governor Kevin J. Stitt. “Right now our state ranks 46th in the nation for health outcomes and that is unacceptable. Oklahomans deserve better which is why moving to a managed care delivery system is the right move for the health of our state.”   

Officials say the managed care delivery system being set-up allows the state to improve the health of Oklahomans.

“The selected managed care organizations are the best at what they do, and I am confident in their ability to assist us in providing high quality services to our SoonerCare members,” said OHCA CEO, Kevin Corbett.

Oklahoma joins 40 other states in engaging in managed care organizations to assist them in administering certain Medicaid benefits. States have reported positive outcomes by investing in primary care and preventative services, as well as effective quality improvement strategies.  

This is one of the largest contracts procured in the state’s history. The contracts were competitively bid and were selected after a technical evaluation and oral presentations. The contracts are for an initial one-year term through June 2021 and five optional one-year extensions at the discretion of OHCA.

“This selection is incredibly impactful to the state’s economy. Our new partners already have an established footprint in Oklahoma and will further invest in the local economy by generating over a thousand new jobs resulting in holistic, quality health care for SoonerCare members,” said Senator Kim David. “This is our opportunity to move the needle in health outcomes and boost the state’s economy.”

After Oklahomans voted to expand Medicaid, they voted no on State Question 814. That would have shifted money from TSET which is the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Fund.

The expansion begins July 1, 2021. Until then, state legislators will need to work together to secure the multi-million dollar funding.

State legislators will have until the last Friday of May 2021, when the next legislative session ends, to secure funding for Oklahoma’s Medicaid expansion.