Oklahoma Supreme Court Finds Stitt Administration's Managed Medicaid Plan To Be Legally Invalid
Updated: June 1 at 7:55 p.m.
Oklahoma’s managed Medicaid plan hit a legal roadblock on Tuesday, as the Oklahoma Supreme Court deemed the program legally invalid.
Under the Stitt Administration’s managed care plan, Oklahoma would shift $2 billion in Medicaid funding to four private insurance companies, which would then coordinate care for most of the state’s Medicaid enrollees. Those contracts have been awarded, and enrollment is slated for the fall.
The plan, named SoonerSelect, has many opponents, including most of the state’s medical trade groups. Those groups filed a lawsuit against the state’s Medicaid agency in February, arguing the executive branch didn’t have the legislative authority it needed to implement the program.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a ruling on Tuesday evening, agreeing with those medical groups, stating the program and its contracts to the insurance companies are legally invalid.
It’s unclear for now what effect this will have on the managed care plan’s implementation and on the insurance companies that have already secured contracts for services.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s managed Medicaid program, SoonerSelect, will not face any major changes after this year’s session. The plan will shift about $2 billion in Medicaid funding to four private insurers, who will coordinate care for most Medicaid members, including those who newly qualify because of expansion.
The plan has many critics, including all of the state’s medical trade groups. House Republicans passed a bill that would have created a similar program, but kept private insurance companies out of it.
In the final days of session, the House and Senate settled their differences on the bill. They called it "guard rail" legislation. It will simply codify the program as it stands now. That means any major changes — such as adding new insurance companies to the program — would require legislative approval.
House Speaker Charles McCall said lawmakers will monitor the program once it’s rolled out this fall.
"If the Legislature believes there needs to be some refinements, we'll take those up in future sessions," McCall said.
The Legislature ended its session Thursday. Other than a planned special session on redistricting, it won’t conduct formal business until the next session, in February 2022.
Support this vital local reporting with a donation to KOSU. Click here to give.