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Oklahoma employers look for answers to Affordable Care Act questions

Employers across Oklahoma are trying to figure out how the Affordable Care Act mandates will affect their bottom lines.

BY PAULA BURKES Published: October 14, 2012

When Wayne Hansen co-founded Old School Bagel cafe five years ago, his wife went back to work as a teacher. She basically had to, so his family could get health insurance, Hansen said. He and his wife have four kids, including a special-needs child who sees a cardiologist yearly, he said.

They were glad to...
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at a glance

Did you know?

•About 61 percent of firms nationwide offer workers annual health benefits. For employer-sponsored coverage, annual premiums average $15,745 — of which workers pay about $4,316.

•Premiums for employer-sponsored coverage climbed only 4 percent from last year. But since 2002, annual premiums have shot up 97 percent — compared with wages and inflation, which over the same time period have increased only 33 percent and 28 percent, respectively.

•Growing in popularity, health savings accounts/high-deductible health plans cover 13.5 million Americans, up from 4.5 million five years ago and 18 percent since last year.

•The state’s “SoonerCare” Medicaid state-federal system — which provides free health care to largely low-income women and children — hit 1 million members in July.

•As of September, there are 16,525 members in the state’s Insure Oklahoma program, which uses state tobacco tax revenues matched with federal funds to subsidize at least 60 percent of premiums for low-income ($20,420 for individuals; $41,000 for a family of four) self-employed workers and those who work at businesses with 99 or fewer workers. There are about 4,811 corporate members; all but 362 of them work at companies that employ 25 or fewer workers.

SOURCES: Kaiser Foundation, America’s Health Insurance Plans and SoonerCare

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