How to cover Oklahoma's uninsured population is the $500,000 question.
In January, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority paid a health care consulting firm that amount to come up with some options for how Oklahoma can provide insurance coverage for its uninsured residents.
And come May, the firm might provide some answers.
Nico Gomez, the chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, said at the authority's board meeting Thursday that Leavitt Partners will likely present some of its findings at the next board meeting on May 9.
“They've been working very quickly to get us some information so we can provide something to the Legislature before they adjourn,” Gomez said.
The Oklahoma Health Care Authority, created by the Legislature in the early 1990s, is the agency charged with administering Oklahoma's Medicaid program.
In November, Gov. Mary Fallin announced Oklahoma would not expand its Medicaid program or build a state-based health insurance exchange, two key provisions of the federal government's health care law.
Fallin has since said Oklahoma needs its own plan moving forward, one that addresses many of the health issues Oklahoma faces. Oklahoma has long struggled with some of the worst health care outcomes in the nation, with high rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Leavitt Partners was tasked with studying what Oklahoma could do to help it cover as many as 200,000 uninsured residents.
The firm has been working with several other states that, like Oklahoma rejected Obamacare funding to develop an Internet-based health care exchange. Expanding Insure Oklahoma, which provides matching funds to small businesses and their employees for the purpose of purchasing private insurance, is one of several options Leavitt was expected to explore.