Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

December 11, 2013

Feds: 1,600 Oklahomans enroll in federal plan

OKLAHOMA CITY —

More than 1,600 Oklahoma residents successfully signed up for health insurance coverage in the first two months of the troubled HealthCare.gov website that allows people to shop for and purchase a plan, officials said Wednesday.

The report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows 14,875 Oklahomans submitted applications to the new insurance marketplace. They were applying for coverage on behalf of 30,786 people — for example, themselves, their spouses and children.

The 1,327 Oklahomans who successfully enrolled in November was nearly four times the 346 who managed to sign up in October, when the federal website’s launch was plagued with problems. Oklahoma is one of 36 states that relied on the federal website, after Gov. Mary Fallin rejected a state-run marketplace.

“The main thing is that we’ve got the website up and working,” said Chad Austin, who oversees about 60 navigators in Oklahoma who help people use the federal website. “Things have gone a lot smoother.”

Austin said applicants using the website initially were unable to determine if they were eligible for tax subsidies used to offset the cost of insurance.

“The key to success is this past month we’ve been able to go through the website with the eligibility application,” Austin said.

About 640,000 Oklahoma residents, or 17 percent of the state’s population, currently have no health insurance. But the launch of the federal exchange has not been promoted by the state.

Fallin rejected the opportunity to create a state-based exchange or expand Medicaid to tens of thousands of Oklahoma’s working poor, a decision hailed by conservatives in the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Nationwide, enrollment statistics showed that 364,682 people have signed up for private coverage as of Nov. 30 under the federal health law. Although that’s more than three times the October total, it’s less than one-third of the 1.2 million people officials had originally projected would enroll nationwide by the end of November.

1
Text Only
State/Nation
  • Perry: Texas plans to send 1,000 guardsmen to border

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to deploy as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to South Texas to bolster security along the Mexico border, a local lawmaker confirmed Monday.

    July 21, 2014

  • NASA renames building for Neil Armstrong

    NASA has honored one of its most famous astronauts by renaming a key building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    July 21, 2014

  • New arrivals worry some in the Oklahoma panhandle

    A family who says they were excommunicated from Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect has moved to a small city located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, raising concerns among some residents.

    July 20, 2014

  • Celebrate 45 years since man's first steps on the moon

    Now's the time to get moonstruck.

    Forty-five years ago Sunday, Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on another world. Armstrong's "one small step ... one giant leap" on the dusty lunar surface July 20, 1969, still stirs hearts.

    July 20, 2014

  • US outlines case against Russia on downed plane

    Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

    July 20, 2014

  • Oklahoma Capitol renovation project previewed

    State officials have previewed preliminary plans for renovating the century-old Oklahoma State Capitol amid a display of artifacts from groundbreaking ceremonies for the structure.

    July 17, 2014

  • House passes tax breaks to boost charitable giving

    The House passed a package of tax breaks Thursday designed to boost charitable donations by seniors, private foundations and procrastinators.

    One provision provides tax breaks to people over 70 who make donations from their individual retirement accounts. Another reduces excise taxes on private charitable foundations.

    July 17, 2014

  • Should online accounts die when you die?

    Should your emails, web albums and other online accounts die when you do? Or should you be able to pass them down to a family member much as you would a house or a box of letters?

    July 17, 2014

  • Obama, Putin discuss Malaysia Plane incident

    The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama have discussed the Malaysia Airlines plane incident over eastern Ukraine.

    July 17, 2014

  • Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs

    Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history Thursday, saying it will cut 18,000 jobs or 14 percent of its workforce as it streamlines its Nokia mobile device business to focus on using the Windows Phone operating system.

    July 17, 2014