What are the health care options for the uninsured?
Without Medicaid or employer insurance, uninsured parents and other adults have relatively few options:
• They can obtain coverage through Insure Oklahoma, which offers subsidized plans to individuals and workers at small businesses. But the program is now limited to about 35,000 enrollees, and a participating business must have a qualified health plan. Alex Weintz, a spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin, said the governor is looking at expanding Insure Oklahoma to offer more affordable care. But on Jan. 1, 2014, Insure Oklahoma will lose nearly two-thirds of its government funding when federal matching money stops, said Jo Kilgore, a spokeswoman for the state Health Care Authority. Weintz said, “We're hoping that won't happen, but it is true that funding for that is in jeopardy.” He said the Obama administration is being inflexible and harming its stated goal of getting more people insured. “What they're saying is, ‘It's my way or the highway,'” Weintz said.
• An uninsured worker at a business with fewer than 25 employees can seek discounted coverage through an Affordable Care Act program. But the employers must meet certain criteria and do not have to participate.
• People who earn between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level can use tax credits to purchase coverage from the health exchange in 2014. The poorest of that group will pay no more than 2 percent of their income on premiums, as well as get a subsidy for other health costs.
• The uninsured can continue seeking health care at hospital emergency rooms or free clinics across the state.