Oklahoma health insurance is more than an insurance policy; it's a critical buffer against financial calamity. For many state residents, it's not easy finding the money to pay for insurance premiums and, despite comparatively low unemployment (6.6% in March, 2010), employer-based coverage is middling at best, given that Oklahoma is among the bottom 10 states for employers who offer health coverage to their employees. Whether you have a job without health benefits, have recently lost your health insurance, or are shopping for an Oklahoma health insurance quote for the first time, here's what you need to know about health insurance in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Health Care Costs and Access
Contrary to most people's perceptions, you may have less trouble affording Oklahoma health insurance than you do finding reasonable access to high-quality medical care. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the state spends only $4,917 on health spending per capita, one of the lowest rates in the country. Unfortunately, one of the reasons for these lower costs is that the state has lower access rates to health care in general. Approximately one in six residents go without health insurance, but even more troubling is the state's low HMO penetration rate and its next-to-last ranking for primary care physicians per 100,000 people. In fact, according to America's Health Rankings, Oklahoma is also next-to-last for overall health ranking.
Oklahoma Health Insurance Policy and Payment Timelines
With so many state residents struggling to meet their premium obligations, it can be important to know about state mandates for premium payments, cancellations, and grace periods. To pay an annual premium, the state gives you a 31-day grace period. Monthly premiums carry with them a 10-day grace period. Weekly premiums carry a 7-day grace period. If this grace period expires, your policy may be cancelled, and/or you may have to submit a reinstatement application. The good news is that if you change your mind about your health insurance or find a better policy, you have 10 days to cancel your policy and receive a full refund, a nice buffer for people already nervous about making a final purchasing decision.
Oklahoma health insurance mandates also have a unique, commonsense approach to preexisting conditions. Health insurance companies may exclude coverage of a preexisting condition "for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received within 6 months before the policy was issued," according to the Oklahoma Insurance Division. This prevents people from waiting until they get sick to get health insurance in Oklahoma without paying a penalty. However, the preexisting condition must then be covered after an exclusion period of 12 months in the case of group coverage or up to 24 months on the individual market. That said, if you've been denied coverage, you can also seek health insurance through the state's high-risk pool, which has its own website.
Oklahoma Health Insurance Quote
Finding an affordable Oklahoma health insurance quote is often about knowing which resources you qualify for and exhaustively pursuing different health insurance options. One of the most underappreciated tools for finding affordable health insurance in Oklahoma is online referral services, like NetQuote. Our incredibly easy and efficient connection to state health insurers lowers overhead costs and, indirectly, health insurance premiums. Plus, an exhaustive search doesn't need to take months. Take but a minute to submit an online request, and we'll do the legwork of finding the best licensed health insurers in the state that meet your health insurance needs. This leaves you with more time and energy to consider different health insurance companies and health plans that will properly balance the burden of insurance premiums and potential out-of-pocket costs.