The Edmond Sun

State News

September 6, 2013

Insure Oklahoma receives one-year reprieve

EDMOND —  A one-year extension was granted by the Obama administration this week to the 30,000 low-income Oklahomans who rely on Insure Oklahoma for their health insurance.

Earlier this year, the federal government announced it would not continue Insure Oklahoma as part of the new federal health care options beginning in 2014. Gov. Mary Fallin and her administration lobbied for months to keep the program intact.

“This is a big win for Oklahoma and the tens of thousands of adults and children who currently buy health insurance through Insure Oklahoma,” Fallin said Friday. “These Oklahomans and their families can now rest easy knowing that they won’t lose their insurance on Jan. 1.”

Insure Oklahoma also serves about 4,600 small businesses, which rely on it for assistance in providing employer-sponsored insurance.

“Insure Oklahoma has been around since 2005. It’s been a success for thousands of small businesses that have used it to help their employees purchase insurance,” Fallin said. “… It’s also been the beneficiary of popular support; the people of Oklahoma even voted on a 2004 ballot initiative to fund it through tobacco taxes.

“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.”

There will be no changes to the Insure Oklahoma employer-sponsored plan through Dec. 31, 2014, while there will be no changes in the low-income program until Jan. 1 when some co-pays and income level restrictions will change, according to the plan released by the governor’s office. Eligibility for that plan will change from 200 percent of the poverty level down to 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Those who do not meet the new income standard will have to use the federal exchange created by the Affordable Care Act. There are about 5,300 individuals enrolled in the program who are at or below the 100 percent federal poverty level.

Fifth District Congressman James Lankford, R-Edmond, said the one-year extension was good news.

“For the last several months, Oklahoma patients and their families have waited and doubted the future of their coverage, thanks to Obamacare — a misguided law that seeks to eventually phase out state options. I applaud Gov. Fallin for her work with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to provide stable health options like Insure Oklahoma to many needy Oklahomans,” Lankford said.

 

1
Text Only
State News
  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man allegedly assaults officer on Tinker AFB

    A metro man faces an assault complaint after he allegedly nearly struck a federal officer with a vehicle during a pursuit that began as a traffic stop on Tinker Air Force Base, court records show.
    Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, said Wednesday a criminal complaint was unsealed charging James Williams, 60, of Del City, with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.

    July 30, 2014

  • NAMI classes begin in September

    NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

    July 30, 2014

  • drugs 1.jpg K9 hot on drug trail

    An Oklahoma County deputy and his K9 partner have logged another impressive drug seizure, records show.
    Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Myers said Monday a deputy noticed a car weaving and straddling lanes on I-40 near the Meridian Avenue exit. Myers said the deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the two people inside.
    The driver and passenger told conflicting stories about their trip, Myers said. The deputy also smelled marijuana inside of the vehicle, Myers said.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • McCaskill announces legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg City to improve traffic flow

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo