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Federal government announces special enrollment period for people losing Medicaid coverage

Hush Naidoo

Oklahomans who are losing SoonerCare coverage have an opportunity to sign up for private insurance. The federal government has created a special enrollment period for them.

The insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act isn’t open year-round. Open enrollment starts in November and runs through mid-December. Otherwise, applicants need to have a qualifying life-changing event — like losing coverage or having a baby.

But the federal government is opening a special enrollment period for the millions of people who will lose Medicaid coverage this year.

A pandemic relief policy allowed members to stay in the program, even if they technically lost eligibility because of increased income or other factors. But that program ends this spring.

Oklahoma’s program, SoonerCare, is phasing that coverage out instead of suddenly dropping members. But by the end of the year, 300,000 people are expected to lose coverage

Residents can apply for private coverage at healthcare.gov.

The enrollment period opens March 31, and it will run until July 31.

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Catherine Sweeney was StateImpact Oklahoma's health reporter from 2020 to 2023.
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