Two bills helping low-income working Oklahomans afford health insurance for their families were signed into law today. One bill expands the income eligibility for a voucher program to help parents buy private health insurance for their children. The other bill increases eligibility for Insure Oklahoma, a program that helps businesses buy health insurance for their employees.
Both bills were part of Gov. Brad Henry’s agenda this legislative session. The All Kids Act created will help the parents of as many as 45,500 uninsured Oklahoma children afford health insurance, said an official at the state Health Care Authority. The law will impact families making between 185 percent more than the federal poverty rate and 300 percent, or from $38,203 to $61,950 yearly for a family of four. The federal poverty rate for a family of four is $20,650. Those making below 185 percent qualify for Medicaid, but the families making up to 300 percent of the poverty rate still can’t afford private health care plans on their wages, said Sen. Tom Adelson, author of the bill. “This is assistance for those families finding it increasingly difficult to purchase insurance in the private market,” said Adelson, D-Tulsa.
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