stitt medicaid
In this Jan. 30, 2017, photo, Marquitta Nelson poses for a photo in Chicago. Nelson, a homeless Chicagoan with severe depression, is getting her life in order since a caseworker helped her get Medicaid coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act. Millions of Americans with serious mental illnesses, alcoholism and drug addictions gained insurance coverage because of the Act. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Listen to this article here

The recent Medicaid expansion continues to help keep Oklahomans safe and healthy, with an additional 80,000 citizens now eligible for health care. This number is in addition to the 200,000 Oklahomans who have already started receiving the health benefits. 

Of the 200,000 Oklahomans who now have SoonerCare, over 118,000 are new applicants who are relieved to finally have health care opportunities that were previously out of reach. The rest are citizens who either transferred from a more restrictive and possibly more expensive health care plan, or those whose applications had expired. 

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority continues its outreach to address even more Oklahoma citizens who may not be aware they are eligible for SoonerCare. 

state of emergency pediatric bed
Nurse Nellie Smith held the hand of Kayden Tree, 8, before inserting a swab into his nose for a COVID-19 test specimen at CareSTL Health in North St. Louis on Monday, May 11.

OHCA urges Oklahomans who are eligible to apply

“These Oklahomans may not know they can now access health care. We are coordinating with community partners in those areas to find these eligible Oklahomans and help them apply for benefits,” Kevin Corbett, the Health Care Authority’s CEO, said in a statement.

Over 60% of those who now have health care through medicaid expansion are women. This percentage reflects an increase in health care for vulnerable women and families during pregnancy and postpartum, as well as for children under 18.

The change in Medicaid eligibility started in July of this year, following the 2020 election in which Oklahoma citizens supported State Question 802. The legislation promoted an increase and expansion of Medicaid services for Oklahomans across the state. 

Adults who earn 138% below the federal poverty level are now eligible for SoonerCare, the Oklahoma Medicaid system. The income limit is about $17,796 per person per year, or about $36,588 for a family of four. 

To determine eligibility for SoonerCare, and to apply for benefits, visit the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority website at 

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...