OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – If you are on SoonerCare, officials say you probably have access to a program that helps lower the cost of broadband service.

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a federal program administered by the Federal Communications Commission that helps low-income households pay for internet service and connected devices like a laptop or tablet.

Eligible households must have an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Organizers say more than 85% of SoonerCare members are below that level.

“Being connected can help Oklahomans get access to resources beneficial to their health as well as telehealth services, saving time and transportation costs,” said Kevin Corbett, CEO of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

Organizers say the ACP will help SoonerCare members, who have not been able to afford broadband service, afford internet.

The Affordable Connectivity Program provides:

  • Up to $30/month discount for broadband service;
  • Up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands; and
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider if the household contributes more than $10 but less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The ACP is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. Some providers may have an alternative application they will ask Oklahomans to complete.

In addition to having internet access, officials say it will also help the state.

“Our country is facing an envelope shortage, which could affect how OHCA primarily communicates to members,” said Corbett. “Forty-six percent of households receiving SoonerCare benefits opt-in to receive email. This means a large group of members still receive their information through the mail.”

On average, 350,000 letters are mailed each month by OHCA to SoonerCare members.

“We are preparing notices to mail to those members affected by the end of the nation’s Public Health Emergency,” said Traylor Rains, State Medicaid Director. “We need people to opt-in to receiving electronic notifications, so we can save envelopes for those who will need that specific notification.”

OHCA estimates approximately 200,000 currently enrolled SoonerCare members could be affected once Secretary Becerra announces the end of the PHE.

If they do not have broadband services and would like to sign up for the ACP, they can apply at ACPBenefit.org or call 1-877-384-2575.

They will also need to contact their preferred provider to select a plan to have the discount applied to their bill.