Task force recommends expansion of coverage for SoonerCare mothers-to-be

Pregnant woman
The H.E.L.P. Task Force, created by Governor Kevin Stitt to help pregnant mothers, says they are recommending expanding benefits for those on SoonerCare.
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 12:03 PM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KSWO) - The Helping Every Life and Parent Task Force, or H.E.L.P., created by Governor Kevin Stitt to help pregnant mothers, says they are recommending expanding benefits for those on SoonerCare.

The H.E.L.P. Task Force said they are recommending to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority an expansion of coverage for SoonerCare members. Two of the main changes they are recommending is raising the income threshold for “full-scope” pregnancy related benefits from 138% to 205% of the federal poverty level (FPL).

Currently, the FPL is $13,590 so mothers making less than $27,859 would become eligible for the benefits.

The second change is to provide 12 months of continuous postpartum coverage. Currently, SoonerCare provides 60 days for those who are eligible.

“I fully support these recommendations to expand and extend care for new mothers and their babies,” said Governor Stitt. “Raising the income threshold will allow thousands of additional women in Oklahoma to have access to services that will reduce risk and create opportunities for better health outcomes for both them and their child. Ensuring more women have access to better, longer care is a positive step in the right direction for our state.”

According to a press release, Stitt created the task force to study, evaluate, and make recommendations regarding policies, programs, and proposed legislation to support crisis pregnancy centers, make adoption easier, support mothers facing an unplanned pregnancy and empower nonprofit organizations and local faith communities to support families and mothers before, during and after childbirth.

Both policy changes will require CMS approval. Visit mysoonercare.org to learn more about SoonerCare eligibility and coverage.