Press Release

March 25, 2020
For Immediate Release 

Media Contact: 
Katelynn Burns, Sr. Public Information Representative
405-522-7266  |  katelynn.burns@okhca.org 

Jonathan Cannon, Sr. Director of Communications
405-517-1797  |  jonathan.cannon@okhca.org 

 

Oklahoma Health Care Authority Implements SoonerCare Relief Measures During COVID-19 Pandemic

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Health Care Authority is taking measures to ensure continuity of care and services for SoonerCare members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Our priority is the health and wellness of our members,” said Kevin Corbett, OHCA CEO. “The provisions included in the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act as well as  federal relief requests we have made will allow us to adapt and meet the needs of our members during this unprecedented time.”

There are several provisions affecting SoonerCare members in the recently passed federal law, Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • All testing services related to COVID-19 diagnoses will not have cost sharing obligations for SoonerCare members. 
      
  • Increase in the Medicaid federal match by 6.2 percentage points. 
 
In addition, OHCA submitted an 1135 waiver to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allowing for the following flexibilities during an emergency period:
  • In addition to COVID-19 testing being covered at 100% without cost sharing, OHCA is also requesting permission to eliminate cost sharing for all COVID-19 treatment.
     
  • OHCA is allowing expanded use of telehealth for most SoonerCare reimbursable services.
     
  • The use of telephonic services (non face-to-face) may be utilized in instances when the SoonerCare member does not have access to telehealth equipment, the service is necessary to the health and safety of the member, and the service can safely and effectively be provided over the telephone.
     
  • Waiving certain provider enrollment requirements such as provider enrollment fees.
     
  • Flexibility allowing providers to receive payments for services provided to affected SoonerCare members in alternative physical settings, such as mobile testing sites, temporary shelters or facilities.
     
  • Authority to remove or modify prior authorization requirements for accessing covered state plan and/or waiver benefits during the emergency period. OHCA will only implement this flexibility if it loses the ability to virtually review/approve PAs.
     
  • Postponing processing of recertification  for members during the emergency declaration to ensure uninterrupted coverage.
     
  • Increased maintenance prescriptions available with a 90-day supply to ensure members have adequate essential medications available without repeated trips to the pharmacy.

"We appreciate the assistance of our federal and state partners in prioritizing the needs of members and flexibility for our providers," Corbett said. "Anything we can do to make the work of providers less cumbersome is crucial at this time."

Read House Resolution 6201 in its entirety: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201.
 
 

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About the Oklahoma Health Care Authority

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority administers two health programs for the state. The first is SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program. SoonerCare works to improve the health of qualified Oklahomans by ensuring that medically necessary benefits and services are available. Qualifying Oklahomans include certain low-income children, seniors, the disabled, those being treated for breast or cervical cancer and those seeking family planning services. The second program OHCA operates is Insure Oklahoma, which assists qualifying adults and small business employees in obtaining health care coverage for themselves and their families. Currently, there are 800,026 Oklahomans enrolled in OHCA’s programs. The agency contracts with a network of approximately 60,000 providers. For more information, visit www.okhca.org or www.insureoklahoma.org.