OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — More than 150,000 Oklahomans have qualified for Medicaid under an expansion of the program approved by voters, and state health officials say they suspect many more Oklahomans are eligible but haven’t yet applied.
The Oklahoma Health Care Authority reported Monday that 154,316 Oklahomans have qualified for the additional health benefits. Of those, nearly 91,000 live in urban areas and about 63,000 in rural Oklahoma. About half are between 19 and 34 years old.
“We are currently working with our community partners to reach those hard-to-find eligible adults,” said OHCA CEO Kevin Corbett. “We encourage Oklahomans to spread the word to their family and friends in hopes of providing health care coverage to those who need it.”
After a decade of Republican resistance, Oklahoma voters narrowly approved a constitutional amendment last year to expand eligibility for benefits. Now, an individual who earns up to $17,796 annually or $36,588 for a family of four qualifies for Medicaid health care coverage.
The Health Care Authority has projected that about 215,000 residents would qualify for expanded Medicaid for a total annual cost of about $1.3 billion. The estimated state share would be about $164 million.