OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla._Federal funding for Insure Oklahoma has been secured until the end of 2016.
Insure Oklahoma was created November 2005 to help businesses and lower income employees afford health insurance. Currently, 17,923 Oklahomans and more than 3,700 businesses are using Insure Oklahoma.
"This funding extension is great news for the thousands of working Oklahomans and small businesses that rely on Insure Oklahoma for affordable health insurance options," said Governor Fallin. "Our goal moving forward continues to be securing a permanent extension for this successful, Oklahoma-based program."
Insure Oklahoma is funded by the state's tobacco tax and is matched by Medicaid. The program would have ended at the end of 2015 if the federal extension wasn't granted.
Insure Oklahoma has two options: employer-sponsored insurance and Individual Plan.
The employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) part of Insure Oklahoma pays at least 60 percent of the premiums for private market health insurance policies. Participating employers pay at least 25 percent of the qualified employee's monthly premiums, and the employee pays no more than 15 percent of their health premium. The program also assists with premiums for the employee's spouse.
Insure Oklahoma Individual Plan (IP) is for Oklahomans working for small businesses that do not have access to group coverage and who earn less than the federal poverty level, as well as those who are temporarily unemployed and seeking work.
"We want Oklahomans to know that Insure Oklahoma is open for business and we stand ready to help with their insurance needs," said OHCA Chief Executive Officer Nico Gomez. "I appreciate our Insure Oklahoma and other OHCA employees for keeping this program moving forward and available for many working Oklahomans."