Oklahoma Insurers Answer Questions About Healthcare Marketplaces

Thursday, September 5th 2013, 9:36 pm

When the Affordable Care Act marketplaces go live in less than a month, as many as 450,000 Oklahomans are expected to enroll. According to Community Care, Oklahoma's largest locally owned and operated health insurer, up to half of those are currently uninsured.

Right now, health insurers say there's a lot of misinformation out there, so they're trying to help set the record straight before enrollment opens.

The Arubah Community Clinic is making sure anyone without insurance has access to free healthcare.

The two nights a week the Collinsville clinic is open, founder Hilary Nicholson, usually has to post a sign saying the place is booked.

The health insurance exchange sites go live on October 1. Anyone can enroll, starting on that day.

6/28/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma Lawmaker Explains Insurance Exchanges

Greg Burn, with Community Care, describes the exchange an electronic marketplace that essentially puts all your insurance options in one place for you to select from and enroll.

"The exchanges are designed to give people options as far as benefit plans go. Insurance carriers will have guaranteed acceptance of all individuals," Burn said.

Community Care has set up a kiosk at Woodland Hills Mall, handing out brochures and answering questions to help consumers break down their individual situation.

"Part of the intent is to provide premium subsidies based on your specific situation, so those will be available for some, not for others," Burn said. "It will hit individuals in different situations differently, so our only encouragement is to do some research."

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is helping consumers research, as well.

"There's a lot of confusion about the healthcare law, so we have brochures available, all of our materials are available in both Spanish and English, to help reach the public and let them know," said spokesperson Lauren Jones.

Burn said many answers won't present themselves until enrollment opens. That's when the government will announce the premiums on Oklahoma's exchange.

11/19/2012 Related Story: Oklahomans Split On Healthcare Exchange Decision

Oklahoma chose not to set up its own state exchange, so the federal government will do it instead.

The feds will select the carriers, but those have not yet been named.

There are several places you can go online to get answers to your healthcare questions.

Community Care's website that has some information at Reform.ccok.com.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield's informational site is BeCoveredOklahoma.org.

Oklahomans will enroll in the exchange at Healthcare.gov.