TULSA - Some 30,000 low-income Oklahomans won't have to worry about losing their health insurance for at least another year, Governor Mary Fallin announced Friday.
The state has negotiated a one-year extension of the popular Insure Oklahoma program, which subsidizes health insurance for low-income workers.
The program is funded by the state's tobacco tax, along with matching federal funds.
Earlier in the year, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services announced it would revoke Insure Oklahoma's Medicaid waiver, effectively shutting down the program effective the end of 2013.
Governor Fallin says she contacted President Obama and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, to explain the importance of the program and to try and work out an accord.
Friday, Fallin said “this is a big win for Oklahoma and the tens of thousands of adults and children who currently buy health insurance through Insure Oklahoma. These Oklahomans and their families can now rest easy knowing that they won’t lose their insurance on January 1.”
“It does not make sense to undercut a program that has been working so well and helping so many Oklahomans and small businesses. I am very excited that the Obama Administration has reversed course and agreed to an extension,” she added.
She says the state will continue to try and work out a permanent solution.
Fallin rejected the federal plan to extend the state's Medicaid program, as outlined in the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.