Affordable Care Act

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahomans who buy health insurance for next year from the largest insurer on the Affordable Care Act marketplace could face double-digit rate increases running as high as 44 percent, filings with the federal government show. 

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals / Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

A federal appeals court in Denver has ruled that the federal health care law doesn't infringe on the religious freedom of faith-based nonprofit organizations that object to covering birth control in employee health plans.

The case involves a group of Colorado nuns and four Christian colleges in Oklahoma.

Oklahomans who purchase health insurance policies next year from the leadinginsurer in the Affordable Care Act marketplace could face unsubsidized rate increases averaging 31 percent, Oklahoma Watch data research shows.

That’s how much Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma has asked the federal government to approve, on average, for all of its “Obamacare”-compliant individual health policies in 2016, according to an actuarial memo filed by the insurer.The proposal doesn’t apply to policies offered through employers.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Two private health insurance companies participating in the Affordable Care Act market in Oklahoma are expected to leave the program next year, while another big insurer wants in.

The shuffle, which would occur on Jan. 1, illustrates the rapid evolution of the “Obamacare” health insurance marketplace as it approaches its third year of operation. Some insurers are finding it difficult to make a profit on Affordable Care Act policies, while others see an opportunity that could pay off big over time.

Demonstrators gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. after Friday's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Ted Eytan / Flickr

Republican lawmakers, chafing after the U.S. Supreme Court shot down bans on same-sex marriage and upheld a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, could push back with new bills in the 2016 session, two state lawmakers said Tuesday.

The proposals could come in the form of resolutions denouncing the rulings and bills aimed at protecting those who would oppose same-sex marriage, the lawmakers said. The moves would also appeal to many Republicans' conservative base during the 2016 election cycle.

Demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court on Thursday after the ruling that Affordable Care Act subsidies are constitutional.
Ted Eytan / Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act means that more than 80,000 Oklahomans can continue to receive federal subsidies to help them pay for health insurance.

It will be days, possibly weeks, before the full impact of the ruling is assessed. In this Q&A, Oklahoma Watch addresses some of the immediate issues raised by the ruling.

Demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court on Thursday after the ruling that Affordable Care Act subsidies are constitutional.
Ted Eytan / Flickr

Thursday morning the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of federal tax subsidies for the federal Affordable Care Act. The 6-3 ruling affects 87,000 Oklahomans who receive the insurance subsidies designed to make access to health care cheaper.

Subsidies were also at risk in 33 other states that didn't established a state-run marketplace. Instead, residents had to purchase their insurance through a federally run program.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) speaking about the upcoming King vs. Burwell Supreme Court decision Monday on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
SenatorLankford / YouTube

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) says he thinks the Supreme Court likely will rule federal Affordable Care Act subsidies are unconstitutional in the 34 states without state insurance exchanges.

The Supreme Court will decide the King vs. Burwell case sometime between now and Monday, June 29.

Does State Have Plans If Thousands Lose Health Insurance?

Jun 13, 2015
ok.gov

Gov. Mary Fallin’s office won’t say if the state has a plan to help thousands of Oklahomans projected to lose their health insurance if their subsidies are struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court this month.

James Martin/Flickr

While some Republican-led states are exploring whether to expand Medicaid to include more low-income residents, Oklahoma's GOP leaders remain steadfastly opposed to the idea.

The head of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority says there is no effort underway to seek a Medicaid expansion or even develop an Oklahoma-specific plan for seeking available funding.

Indiana recently received approval to expand Medicaid through a state-run program, making it the 128th state to do so and the 10th with a Republican in the governor's mansion.

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