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SoonerCare members are encouraged to update their contact information before the renewal process begins

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: 
Melissa Richey, Chief of Communications
405-982-8707 | melissa.richey@okhca.org

Katelynn Burns, Director of Public Affairs
405-522-7266 | katelynn.burns@okhca.org


SoonerCare members are encouraged to update their contact information before the renewal process begins

Oklahoma City, OK – The Oklahoma Health Care Authority is preparing for the end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) by asking all SoonerCare members to update their contact information and documentation. This will help the agency better understand which members will be eligible to renew their benefits once Federal Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announces the end to the PHE. 

In March 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) temporarily waived certain Medicaid eligibility requirements and conditions. The waiver of these rules helped prevent people with Medicaid from losing their health coverage during the pandemic.  When Secretary Becerra announces the end date of the PHE, all states, including Oklahoma, will be required to review Medicaid eligibility, and to disenroll members who no longer meet federal eligibility requirements. OHCA estimates approximately 200,000 currently enrolled members could be affected by the end of the PHE.

“We are committed to maintaining the integrity of the SoonerCare program, using state resources wisely, and ensuring individuals who remain eligible stay enrolled,” said OHCA CEO and State Secretary of Health and Mental Health, Kevin Corbett. “As part of OHCA’s efforts to ensure as many people as possible maintain a source of coverage, whether through Medicaid or the ACA Marketplace, the agency is implementing a multi-pronged communications approach to ensure members are aware of the steps they need to take to maintain coverage when the PHE ends.”

To verify eligibility, OHCA is asking members to update their information and documentation, so the Agency can contact members through U.S. mail, emails, and phone calls.

States are given a 60-day notice if the PHE is ending. Oklahoma did not receive that notice in February, which means members will not lose their benefits in April. OHCA is waiting on the announcement in April of the next PHE extension. OHCA will alert affected members once Secretary Becerra announces the end date of the PHE.

Those members determined to be eligible will continue to receive SoonerCare benefits. Those members determined to be ineligible for benefits will be removed from SoonerCare in phases throughout the year using a risk-based approach, focusing on member utilization and critical health issues.

Members who are ineligible will receive an initial notification letter once Secretary Becerra announces the end date of the PHE. Due to the phased-out approach by OHCA, members will be notified of their specific end date of benefits.

A second notice will be sent to those members 45 days prior to their scheduled end date to inform them of the reason for loss of eligibility, potentially missing documents to verify eligibility and appeal rights. A third notice will then go out 10 days before the member loses eligibility.

“It is important for members to update their contact information and documentation, so we can provide them the information they need regarding their eligibility status. We will work with our community partners across the state to help inform people about renewing their coverage, as well as exploring other available health insurance options for those members who no longer qualify for Medicaid,” adds Secretary Corbett.

For those members who no longer qualify for Medicaid, they may be able to qualify and receive health insurance coverage through the ACA Marketplace. Marketplace plans are affordable with low-cost monthly premiums when federal subsidies are applied. These plans are comprehensive covering things like prescription drugs, doctor visits, urgent care, hospital visits, and more.  Deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance apply. 

What members can do today:

  • Make sure their contact information and documentation are updated by logging in to mysoonercare.org or by calling the SoonerCare helpline at 1-800-987-7767.
  • Respond to requests for information! If members have received a letter from OHCA requesting information, they need to respond right away.

 

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Last Modified on May 12, 2022