CMS Rejects Oklahoma Medicaid Waiver

CMS has denied a waiver extension for the Insure Oklahoma plan, which helps insure 12,000 workers at 4,650 small businesses across the state through premium subsidies that would conflict with the federal health overhaul's health insurance exchanges, according to a report by The Oklahoman.

Insure Oklahoma provides Medicaid and additional financial assistance payments matched by small businesses and employees to buy private health insurance. Without the waiver, the program will expire at the end of this year.

"The new law will mean that an extension of the Insure Oklahoma program without any changes is not possible," wrote Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Director Cindy Mann in her rejection letter addressed to Oklahoma's healthcare authority. In the letter, she suggested the state consider extending the Insure Oklahoma model to include individual and small business health plans via the exchanges.

Oklahoma, which rejected Medicaid expansion and defaulted to a federally run exchange, is crafting a Republican-led bill that would privatize Medicaid and incorporate cost-savings and financial rewards to beneficiaries for health savings and healthy behavior, according to the report.

More Articles on Medicaid:

Paul Levy: What on Earth Did CMS have in Mind When it Released 2011 Chargemasters?
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Fitch: Children's Hospitals Maintain Stronger Credit Ratings Than Non-Profit Hospitals

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