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Report says some uninsured Oklahomans may lack health options

Not expanding Medicaid in Oklahoma could leave up to 40 percent of uninsured adults without new options, Commonwealth Fund report says.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: September 5, 2013

Two in every five adults who have recently been uninsured living in states that have not yet decided to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act would likely have no new affordable health insurance options if their states don't eventually expand the program, according to a report released Wednesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the federal government cannot require states to expand Medicaid eligibility. Oklahoma and roughly 25 other states have said they will not, or may not, expand their Medicaid programs in 2014.

In these states, the lowest-income adults, those earning below the federal poverty level — or less than $11,170 for an individual and $23,050 for a family of four in 2012 — will not have access to either the Medicaid expansion or subsidized private insurance through the new state insurance marketplaces and could remain uninsured, according to the report from the Commonwealth Fund.

The report, based on a survey of U.S. adults ages 19 to 64, found that an estimated 55 million Americans were uninsured for all or part of the time from June 2010 to September 2012. In the states that have not yet decided to expand Medicaid, 72 percent of adults whose incomes fell below 133 percent of the federal poverty level during the two-year period had spent some time uninsured.

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