APNewsBreak: Feds poised to continue Insure Oklahoma

The federal government is poised to let the state operate its Insure Oklahoma program for another year while it considers expanding Medicaid and taking a greater amount of federal money to insure low-income residents, a federal official confirmed on Friday.

BY SEAN MURPHY, AP Modified: September 6, 2013 at 10:38 am •  Published: September 6, 2013

But some state residents, including thousands on the Insure Oklahoma program, would have fallen into a "coverage crater" where they would have been ineligible for tax subsidies or Medicaid. Federal officials planned to terminate the Insure Oklahoma program because most of its recipients would have otherwise been eligible for the Medicaid expansion if they earned up to 138 percent of federal poverty, or $32,499 for a family of four.

Republican legislators favor Insure Oklahoma program over Medicaid expansion because individual recipients pay modest co-pays, with the rest of the premiums covered by employer payments in some cases, along with state and federal matching funds.

The state's portion of the funding comes from a tobacco tax approved by voters and is used to draw down matching federal Medicaid dollars.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.