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KOSU is committed to being more reflective of the audiences we serve. In Oklahoma, having stories reported by Indigenous reporters for Native communities is imperative. KOSU's Indigenous Affairs reporting is led by Allison Herrera.

Cherokee Nation vows to help citizens keep health care coverage as COVID Medicaid expansion expires

The COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency is coming to an end and that means in Oklahoma, thousands of people will lose health care coverage.

The Cherokee Nation is stepping in to make sure their tribal citizens don't.

Special pandemic continuous Medicaid enrollment stopped at the end of March, and many states like Oklahoma are terminating coverage for those who no longer qualify. As many as 270,000 Oklahomans could lose their Medicaid coverage, commonly called SoonerCare.

Cherokee Nation health officials say at least 3,000 tribal citizens could lose their Medicaid coverage as a result.

Cherokee Nation Patient Benefit Coordinators are contacting those tribal citizens who may be at risk of losing their access to health care and helping them get covered.

“It’s critical that our citizens have health coverage for their families and bridge any gap for necessary specialty medical care or emergencies that should arise outside our health system,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., said in a press release “The Cherokee Nation, thanks to our Health Services Patient Benefit Coordinators, has spent years working to get Native families enrolled and we must ensure these families have that continued coverage during the coming months.”

For more information, visit the Cherokee Nation's website.

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Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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