Oklahoma City, OK – Federal Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra has extended the Public Health Emergency’s continuous coverage created in 2020 for certain Medicaid members, effective April 16, 2022. The extension allows certain Oklahomans on Medicaid, who have become ineligible, to maintain their health coverage over the next 90 days.
OHCA estimates approximately 200,000 currently enrolled SoonerCare members could be affected once Secretary Becerra announces the termination of the PHE. That announcement is expected to come sometime this year.
“The staff at OHCA continue to diligently prepare for the end of the PHE as well as communicate the best we can with those possibly ineligible SoonerCare members and their providers as well community leaders as we gain more information from our federal partners,” said Traylor Rains, State Medicaid Director.
Once Secretary Becerra announces the PHE is ending, OHCA will alert affected members. Each member’s official end date could vary based on the phased-out approach OHCA will use to remove ineligible members from SoonerCare.
“OHCA will use a compassionate risk-based approach, focusing on member utilization and critical health needs,” said Kevin Corbett, Secretary of Health and Mental Health and CEO of OHCA. “We will do everything we can to provide affected members with resources to help them once they are no longer eligible for SoonerCare.”
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.
Members who are ineligible will receive three notices from OHCA across multiple communications channels.
- An initial notification letter from OHCA will be mailed once the end date of the PHE is announced. This notification letter will detail the specific end date of benefits for each member.
- A second notice will be sent to 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.
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.