Bill Would Expand Small Business Insurance Plan - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Bill Would Expand Small Business Insurance Plan

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A key lawmaker says today that a bill vastly expanding the number of small businesses that qualify for a health insurance subsidy program is nearing floor action in the Oklahoma Legislature.

Governor Brad Henry's "Insure Oklahoma" program currently provides health insurance subsidies to help businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

Legislation expected to be heard by a House committee on Monday would expand eligible employers to those with as many as 250 workers.

Under the bill, employees could make up to 250% of the federal poverty line and qualify.

Representative Kris Steele of Shawnee says the Insure Oklahoma program is not an entitlement, requiring contributions from both employees and employers.

Employees are responsible for paying deductibles on their health insurance and for copays on doctor visits.

Money to pay for the program would come from 72.5 million.
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