Governor: Feds Give Insure Oklahoma One-Year Extension - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Governor: Feds Give Insure Oklahoma One-Year Extension

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Governor Mary Fallin announced Friday Oklahoma has negotiated a one-year extension for the Insure Oklahoma program.

The governor had sought ways to rescue the Insure Oklahoma program, which provides both individual and employer-sponsored health insurance plans to about 30,000 low-income Oklahomans.

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

The program is funded by the state's tobacco tax matched with federal dollars.

Earlier this year, the federal government announced it would not continue its support of Insure Oklahoma after December 31st.

"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," said Fallin. "It's been a success for tens of thousands of families of modest means, who would be uninsured without it. 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."

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority sponsors 60 percent of the premium, participating employers pay at least 25 percent of the qualified employee's monthly premiums, the employee pays no more than 15 percent of their health premium. The program also assists with premiums for the employee's spouse.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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