Oklahomans to have two health insurers in 2019
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma and Medica both submitted Qualified Health Plan applications, along with rates, for certification.
"Buying health coverage for you and your family is important, and now with two health insurance carriers on the exchange, Oklahoma consumers have more options from which to choose what best suits their needs," Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said.
"Having two insurers creates product choices and alternatives that are essential to our marketplace."
More than 140,000 people purchased plans in Oklahoma's exchange during open enrollment for the 2018 policy year. That was about four percent lower than those who enrolled the year before.
By law, the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) does not have authority to approve or deny rates filed by insurers on the federal exchange.
Oklahoma, along with Texas and Wyoming, is a direct enforcement state with no authority to enforce provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
Insurance companies offering products on the exchange are required to submit rate filing justifications to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for evaluation and review.
CMS intends to post information on proposed rate filings for consumers to review on https://ratereview.healthcare.gov on Aug. 1. OID cannot comment on the rates until that time.
CMS officials will review the proposed rate and form filings, determine if they are reasonable and post final rate information on Nov. 1 in time for open enrollment.
The 2019 open enrollment period is Nov. 1 – Dec. 15. ■