The Norman Transcript

Headlines

April 4, 2013

Consultant seeking Medicaid solution

NORMAN — A consultant hired by Oklahoma to look at new ways to provide health care coverage to low-income people ineligible for Medicaid is studying an Arkansas plan that would channel federal Medicaid money through private insurers.

Leavitt Partners, a Utah consulting firm, is examining whether the plan proposed in Arkansas, and similar ones in other states, could be applied in some way in Oklahoma, State Commissioner of Health Terry Cline said. An Oklahoma Hospital Association official also confirmed Leavitt’s inquiry.

Whether Oklahoma will actually pursue such a path remains to be seen.

If not, it’s unclear how or whether Oklahoma will find a way to provide health coverage for about 200,000 people who could remain uninsured next year because of Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision not to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

The state contracted with Leavitt Partners for $500,000 earlier this year to come up with recommendations for an Oklahoma-based plan to address health care issues.

Leavitt Partners is headed by Mike Leavitt, former Utah governor and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. The firm was hired after Fallin decided to reject Medicaid expansion, which would have covered all Oklahomans whose income is at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

Cline said the firm is considering several options, including a proposal by Arkansas. That plan could allow low-income people to use Medicaid expansion funds to purchase private insurance through a health care exchange, where people can shop for coverage online.

Since the Arkansas proposal became public in February, several states that rejected Medicaid expansion have signaled an interest in similar plans. Those states include Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Louisiana, according to media reports.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides eligibility to Medicaid for all individuals and families with income up through 133 percent of the poverty level. That equates to $15,282 for a single person and $31,322 for a family of four.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Water Reclamation Wastewater upgrade under way

    Norman’s $63 million water reclamation facility upgrade is under way. Once known as a sewer plant, the facility’s moniker reflects the current trend in water reuse and treatment that’s crossing the United States....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Okla. City museum shows pigeons in positive light

    OKLAHOMA CITY — It wasn’t long after Lorrie Monteiro started her new gig as curator of the American Pigeon Museum that she started to wonder, “What have I done?” Monteiro had experience working at museums but knew almost nothing about the ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Bicycle Racks Five more bike racks installed downtown

    Public art was installed Thursday along east Main Street in historic downtown Norman. Five colorful art pieces aren’t just for looks. The musical notes, dream catcher, fork and spoon, scissortail flycatcher and a bent arrow also are bike ...

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet the Sooners on Saturday

    Meet the Sooners Day will be Saturday at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The annual, free event kicks off preseason practice and gives University of Oklahoma fans an opportunity to interact with their favorite players and ...

    August 1, 2014

  • OKC man charged with rape

    After being brutally raped and kidnapped for four days, a woman escaped and called 911 last week, which led to charges against an Oklahoma City man. Zohaib Sahibzada Dastgir, 28, was charged with three counts of first-degree rape, two ...

    August 1, 2014

  • One killed when shipping container falls onto vehicle

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City police say one person was killed when a shipping container was knocked from an Oklahoma National Guard vehicle and landed on a pickup truck....

    August 1, 2014

  • Target taps outsider as CEO for shakeup

    NEW YORK — Target is bringing in an outsider as its CEO for the first time as the retailer fights to redefine itself to American shoppers....

    August 1, 2014

  • Parks officials set to fog for mosquitoes in Norman

    Norman parks and recreation officials will fog for mosquitoes Saturday night in northeast Norman....

    August 1, 2014

  • New natural gas plant coming to south central area

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new plant projected to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is coming to the Grady/Stephens county area....

    August 1, 2014

  • Motorists should watch for pedestrians

    With another school year approaching, the Norman Police Department wants motorists to be mindful of the increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic. During the month of August, the Norman Police Department will concentrate resources in the ...

    August 1, 2014