The Norman Transcript


September 26, 2013

Report: Oklahomans can access health plans

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahomans will pay less than the national average for health insurance under an exchange scheduled to open next week as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, according to a report Wednesday by the U.S. government.

The report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projects monthly premiums in Oklahoma will range from $266 for one type of plan to $174 for another before subsidies are applied. Rates will range from about 20 percent to 30 percent below the national average for plans outlined in the reports.

Dave Axene, a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, an educational, research and professional membership organization based in Schaumburg, Ill., said Oklahoma’s lower-than-average medical costs is a chief reason rates will be low.

“Things cost less there,” Axene said. For example, in Oklahoma City, the state’s largest city, the cost of a day of care in the hospital is 75 percent of what it is nationally.

“It’s cheaper in Oklahoma to go to the hospital,” Axene said. He said the cost of seeing a physician is similarly less than average.

The federally run health insurance marketplace opens Tuesday and health insurance enrollment will continue for six months. Coverage begins Jan. 1 for those who sign up by Dec. 15. Oklahoma is among 36 states where the federal government will run the marketplace in 2014.

In November, Gov. Mary Fallin rejected a state-based insurance exchange under the health care overhaul law. Fallin also turned down an expansion of Medicaid to provide coverage to low-income, uninsured citizens.

There are about 600,000 uninsured Oklahomans and about 200,000 would have benefited from the expansion, state officials have said.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius said the reports indicate health insurance plans offered through the exchange will have lower rates than originally projected, making health care affordable for many uninsured Americans. Premiums nationwide will be around 16 percent lower than originally expected.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Immigrant children being placed with sponsors

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The federal government says more than 200 unaccompanied children in Oklahoma have been placed with sponsors so far this year. The federal government released a state-by-state breakdown Thursday of the numbers of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • OCU prepares to move law library downtown

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University’s School of Law is moving its library into a historic building in downtown Oklahoma City....

    July 25, 2014

  • CareerTech board names Mack as interim director

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Board of Career and Technology Education has named CareerTech deputy state director and chief operating officer Marcie Mack as interim director....

    July 25, 2014

  • Ohio State marching band chief fired

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored “serious cultural issues,” some involving rituals where students were pressured to march in ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Board votes to delay plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Sentencing delayed for Oklahoma tea party leader

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Formal sentencing for the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party on felony blackmail and computer crimes convictions has been delayed....

    July 23, 2014

  • Heat advisory issued for much of Oklahoma

    TULSA — The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory through late today for much of the state as stifling heat and humidity continue to affect Oklahoma this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • 34 OSBI agents graduate investigative academy

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Thirty-four agents are graduating from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Advanced Investigative Academy....

    July 23, 2014

  • Okla. legislator doctor wants minors quarantined

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined....

    July 23, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014