Insure Oklahoma, it just got Bigger and Better...
Cher Bumps 2009-03-14Now there is greater assistance for Oklahoman’s struggling to pay medical insurance premiums. Insure Oklahoma (also known as O-Epic), the premium assistance partner of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, has been approved by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to increase the size of the businesses that can participate in the plan. Previously, only employers with 50 or fewer employees could participate in this program. This will now be increased to employers with 99 employees or less.
The change is slated to become effective in late spring and will allow more Oklahoma employers to offer health insurance at an affordable cost to the company and the employees. Insure Oklahoma offers a subsidy to the employee for 60% of the premiums and 85% for the spouse’s premium. There aren’t any restrictions on the type of employee that can qualify, so this program can be offered to full-time, as well as part-time employees, although there are conditions that must be met at the employee level.
Of the important required conditions, two are obvious and must be met before an employer and/or employee can qualify:
1. The employer must offer a plan that is approved by Insure Oklahoma (basically employees cannot have more than a $3,000 out of pocket cost in deductible and co-insurance. There are several carriers who offer the approved plans.
2. An employee must have a combined household income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level. (see the chart below)
Depending upon your business industry, our experience has been that 15% to 40% of your employees can qualify for the subsidy. This means big savings for employers already struggling to pay double digit cost increases for their healthcare policy renewals this year. For example, a company employing 75 people and currently paying 100% of employee only coverage could save 60% of the cost for this coverage. Estimating a monthly premium of $300 for employee only coverage, this could equate to savings of approximately $180 per qualifying employee per month. Assuming 20% of the workforce qualifies for Insure Oklahoma, this could add up to annual savings of approximately $32,400.
We recommend all employers take an opportunity to see if this expanded program can help you and your employees save money!
Insure Oklahoma, income guidelines just got Bigger and Better too!….
2009 Annual Insure Oklahoma Income Limits
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