Letter to the Editor: Increases on the way?
BY Tim Hendricks, Bixby
Saturday, December 01, 2012
12/01/12 at 3:19 AM
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 693,000 uninsured Oklahomans. The key word is uninsured. I was informed by a reliable source that the uninsured number includes all Indians who have free Indian health care.
The problem is that inclusion of this group of citizens in the uninsured count distorts the actual number of those without health insurance coverage.
Because Indian health care is available to all those with a tribal identification card, the number using Indian health care probably exceeds 200,000.
Another factor that the census bureau does not take into consideration is the great number of employed citizens who decline to enroll in their employer's group health plan due to the employees' premium cost share. As a health insurance broker, I often see employees decline coverage due to cost.
Even with the new federal premium assistance tax credit subsidy in 2014, many still will decline due to their cost share after the tax credit is applied. We have seen evidence of this action already when Insure Oklahoma premium subsidy eligible decline to participate even after the subsidy pays 60 percent of their premium before the employer contribution is factored in.
Time will tell if health insurance coverage increases in the future.
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