Increases on ACA Marketplace
OKLAHOMA CITY Health insurance premiums will likely increase by an average of 76 percent for Oklahomans who buy individual coverage through the Affordable Care Act's marketplace. The increases for individual market plans range from 58 percent to 96 percent.
These jaw-dropping increases make it clear that Oklahomas exchange is on life support, said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. Health insurers are losing massive amounts of money. If they dont raise rates theyll go out of business. This system has been doomed from the beginning.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the only health insurer offering plans on the federal exchange in 2017, submitted the increases to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS will determine if the increases are reasonable. The increase requests follow many insurers reporting significant losses, lower than expected enrollment by the younger population and new customers being sicker than expected. ACA-compliant off-exchange individual plans sold by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma will see the same increases as plans sold on the exchange.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department does not have statutory authority to approve or deny rate premium increases for plans on the federal health insurance exchange. Oklahoma, along with Texas, Missouri, Alabama and Wyoming, is a direct enforcement state and has no authority to enforce provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
At the end of 2016, UnitedHealthcare will exit the individual market in Oklahoma. It had five percent of the states 130,178 federal exchange enrollees for 2016. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma had the other 95 percent. UnitedHealthcare enrollees will receive notices from CMS that they have been automatically enrolled into a similar exchange plan.
The increases apply to people buying individual plans, about six percent of the Oklahoma population. Most Oklahomans purchase insurance from an employer plan, a large group plan or through a government program such as Medicare or SoonerCare.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as exchange rates increase, so do the subsidies available to offset the cost of individual premiums.
About the Oklahoma
For more information,
|"State Of City" Address At Nov. 3rd Chamber|
7, 2016 The Collinsville City Commission would like to invite the
public to attend the annual State of the City Address to be delivered
by Collinsville City Manager, Pam Polk, at the November meeting of the
Collinsville Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon will take place at City
Hall located at 106 N. 12th Street on Thursday, November 3, 2016. The
networking luncheon will take place beginning at 11:45 a.m. Attendees
may purchase a catered lunch for $10.
The State of the City Address will begin immediately following Chamber business at 12:00 noon. This is a great opportunity to become more informed about the City of Collinsville and your community. For more information, you can contact the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce at (918) 371-4703 or City Hall at (918) 371-1010 ext. 2026.
Car Raffle Continues
& Jalapeno Grill Night Scheduled (Nov. 7th)
CEF sold $465 in
tickets on the car raffle Friday night at the CHS-Hale football game.
The Mazda will be on display at future home games and the winner will
be announced at the Christmas Parade in December.
Oklahoma HMO encourages women 40 and over get annual breast screening
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; one of the most common cancers in women
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 6, 2016
OKLAHOMA Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women in the United States, which affects more than 230,000 women each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In recognition of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, GlobalHealth, an Oklahoma-based health maintenance organization, recommends women 40 and over get their annual mammogram to screen for breast cancer. This is a no cost preventive service typically covered by health insurance for women over 40.
Early detection is the best possible way to fight breast cancer, said John Wiscaver, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at GlobalHealth. To detect breast cancer, we recommend women get a mammogram once a year since chances of getting breast cancer greatly increase if you are over the age of 40. A mammogram screening does not require a referral by a provider simply ask your primary care physician for more information.
GlobalHealth is offering the following tips for women to make their next mammogram appointment easier:
Know the process. A mammogram is an x-ray that shows the inside structure of the breast. It can help to detect any changes in your breasts or breast cancer that might be too small to be felt by you or your provider. Finding breast cancer early means it can be treated early with a greater chance of success.
Schedule an appointment. If you have never had a mammogram before and would like help, contact your primary care physician. They can give you a list of facilities and answer any questions you may have. When scheduling an appointment, keep in mind your menstrual cycle; the closer to your menstrual flow, the more painful the mammogram can be. If you have breast implants be sure to tell the mammogram facility when you call to make the appointment.
Bring medical records. You should bring a list of your most recent mammograms, including any surgeries, treatments or breast biopsies youve had. If youre getting a mammogram for the first time, make sure to complete any new patient paperwork before the appointment and bring your medical insurance card.
Skip the deodorant. The day of your appointment, make sure to avoid using deodorant or talcum powder. They can contain small particles of aluminum, which can show up on the mammogram and interfere with the image. To get the best image there should be no movement so you should try to avoid skin lotions, which can cause unwanted movement during the exam.
Dress for comfort. Since you will be asked to undress from the waist up, make sure you are wearing a shirt that can be easily taken off and put back on. If you can, skip the underwire bra for a day to feel more comfortable after the exam.
|State Questions 780 & 781|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 11, 2016
Yes on 780 and 781 Campaign Launches TV Advertising Campaign, Featuring Stories of Families Impacted by the Justice System, Highlighting the Need for Reform in Oklahoma
First Television Spot Slated to Air This Week, And Can Be Watched Now at www.YesOn780And781.org
OKLAHOMA The Yes on 780 and 781 campaign, led by Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, has officially launched a TV advertising campaign that will feature four commercials slated to air throughout October and the first week of November. The TV spots underscore the need for reform and also profiles some of the real stories of families and communities adversely impacted by the justice system. State Questions 780 and 781 which has generated tremendous support across the state from law enforcement, business leaders, faith leaders, and other prominent Oklahomans is a series of ballot initiatives that would pursue a smarter approach to public safety by reducing the prison population, redirecting savings toward addressing the root causes of crime, and providing rehabilitation and treatment services to return people to productive lives in their communities.
The first commercial airs this week and can be watched at www.YesOn780And781.org.
We have seen a tremendous amount of support for criminal justice reform in Oklahoma and from all walks of life from the faith community and the business community, to our law enforcement leaders and every day Oklahomans, said Kris Steele, Chair of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform. Were confident the TV spots will generate even more support once Oklahomans see the real stories of how the justice system is impacting our families and communities, I know that voters will be voting yes on 780 and 781 come November.
The TV advertising campaign will continue to bring the conversation about the need for reform to Oklahomans across the state, building on the statewide education campaign efforts already underway. In addition to hosting a series of town hall events, community conversations, debates, and tele-town halls, the Yes on 780 and 781 campaign has been generating tremendous support among prominent Oklahomans including business leaders, faith leaders, law enforcement, elected officials, medical care professionals, and many others. These supporters arent alone in their support, as polling has revealed a majority of Oklahoma voters are also on board.
A joint SoonerPoll/Oklahoman survey conducted in August found that 75 percent of Oklahoma voters said they support State Question 780, and 71 percent of Oklahoma voters said they support State Question 781.
These polls reinforce the findings of a strategy poll from earlier this year indicating that 77 percent of Oklahomans agree that someone who commits a low-level offense shouldnt be saddled with a felony conviction that will follow them through life and prevent them from getting an education or a job, and 79 percent agree that instead of keeping these people behind bars, we should invest in programs that prevent crime and provide rehabilitation the policies encompassed in State Questions 780 and 781.
The Need for Reform
Oklahoma has the second-highest overall incarceration rate in the country and the highest incarceration rate for women, which costs taxpayers nearly $515 million annually and drains significant resources away from investments that can do more to provide necessary rehabilitation and training programs, and ultimately enhance public safety. As the states prison population continues growing increasing by 12 percent between 2009 and 2014 so does its price tag, which has increased by 172 percent in the past two decades.
State Questions 780 and 781
Through two ballot measures Questions 780 and 781 the coalition is working to pursue sentencing reforms for certain low-level offenses, which trigger cost savings to be invested in programs to treat drug addiction and mental health conditions and provide access to education and job training, which are more effective approaches to reducing crime and keeping communities safe.
Question 780 would reclassify certain low-level offenses, like drug possession and low-level property offenses, as misdemeanors instead of felonies. By reclassifying these offenses, Oklahoma is able to trigger cost savings from decreased corrections spending. Question 781 would then invest those cost savings into addressing the root causes of crime through rehabilitation programs to treat drug addiction and mental health conditions that often contribute to criminal behavior and go untreated in prison, and education and job training programs to help people find employment, and avoid going back to prison.
Removing the felony conviction for individuals battling addiction and mental illness and redirecting costs savings back to counties for treatment services represent logical next steps toward building on and strengthening the reforms signed into law.
More information about the Yes on 780 and 781 campaign, and Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, can be found by visiting www.YesOn780And781.org, www.facebook.com/YesOn780And781/ and www.twitter.com/YesOn780And781.
For press inquiries, or to request an interview with a campaign representative, please email press@OKjusticereform.org.