September 11, 2020
Statement by Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready
OKLAHOMA CITY – Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready released the following statement regarding the recent announcement by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s (OHCA) decision to retain and modify the Insure Oklahoma’s Employee Sponsored Insurance program:
“I applaud OHCA and CEO Kevin Corbett in their decision to retain the Employee Sponsored Insurance program under Insure Oklahoma. This important commitment is a big win for small employers in Oklahoma and will allow almost ten thousand employees to keep their health coverage in private small group plans.”
“I have been involved with this program since it was established in 2005 and the success of this model has benefited many small businesses and employees over the last fifteen years. Amid the pandemic, it is more important than ever for working Oklahomans to have access to this affordable insurance option. We are thankful to our partner agency for ensuring affordable coverage options remain available.”
About Insure Oklahoma
In April 2004, Senate Bill 1546 authorized the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to develop a program assisting employees of small businesses, 19 to 64 years of age with either (1) a portion of their private health plan premiums (Employer Sponsored Insurance), or (2) the purchase of a state sponsored health plan operated under the state Medicaid program (Individual Plan).
In November 2004, the Oklahoma Health Care Initiative created the funding mechanism to make a program like this possible. SQ 713, passed by a vote of Oklahomans, increased the sales tax on tobacco products. A portion of these revenues were designated to be used to fund the new health program.