Posted on Friday, August 20th, 2021
The People Said YES: Yard signs from the ballot initiative in 2020 that resulted
in Oklahoma residents approving the expansion of Medicaid to cover any low-income adults
ages 19-64. Previously Medicaid, or SoonerCare, was restricted to children
and pregnant women.
Almost Too Good To Be True:
Medicaid Has Expanded To Cover Adults Without Children
For the first time, Oklahoma men and women without child dependents are eligible for Medicaid. It may not have dawned on them yet to look into “Expanded Medicaid,” which started July 1, 2021.
Expanded Medicaid is for any adults aged 19-64 who have yearly income under 138% of poverty. Currently that is $17,774 or less for a single adult or $36,588 or less for a family of four.
Enrollment assistance is available at the Health Department on C.E. Colston St., DHS on Wanda St., and at the Mercy Health/Love County Hospital business office. Or apply online at healthcare.gov or mysoonercare.org, or call the SoonerCare Healthline at 1-800-987-7767.
The newly-enrolled will have health care coverage and be able to seek medical care, with the hospital and other providers receiving compensation from Expanded Medicaid.
Expanded Medicaid, passed by the voters as a Constitutional amendment on June 30, 2020, is expected to reduce Oklahoma’s uninsured rate, which, at 14%, is highest in the U.S. behind only Texas.
Medicaid is a public health insurance program for the poor, with states splitting the cost with the federal...
Posted on Friday, August 13th, 2021
Public Attitudes Toward COVID-19 Vaccine and Polio Vaccine
An Op-Ed for the Marietta Monitor By Barbara W. Sessions on August 9, 2021
Recently, commentators have begun to compare anti-vaccine sentiments associated with COVID-19 to public attitudes toward polio and its vaccine in the 1950s. For more than 30 years, polio was a virus that left children and young adults, like President Franklin Roosevelt, paralyzed. Almost everyone knew someone with polio. The highly infectious disease hit nearly every summer.
Those who survived the polio virus might end up using crutches, wheelchairs or put into an iron lung, which was a large tank respirator they needed to breathe. “Parents dreaded the very word polio, kept the kids home from swimming to avoid it and prayed for a cure,” guest columnist Mike Brake, a career Oklahoma journalist, wrote in the Sunday Oklahoman on August 8, 2021.
The famed “March of Dimes” campaign encouraged every American to contribute 10 cents toward research to find a vaccine for polio in children. A doctor named Jonas Salk developed a vaccine in 1955.
“Within a year,” Brake wrote, “virtually every elementary school child had taken the shot to save themselves from a terrible disease. A careful Google search turns up no Salk vaccine anti-vaxxers or holdouts. Dr. Salk was hailed as a national hero. . . parents kept faith in the process, and today polio is almost unknown in the western world.”
So what leaves almost half of Americans resisting...
Posted on Thursday, August 12th, 2021
COVID WING: Michelle Lively, Respiratory Therapy Department Head, stands outside the dedicated COVID-19 wing of Mercy Health/Love County Hospital on August 5, 2021. The beds are in use again as healthcare workers prepare for a surge of very ill and infectious patients.
As COVID-19 infections are once again going up across the area, coworkers at Mercy Health/Love County Hospital are preparing to return to the frontlines. Some admit to exhaustion surviving the pandemic while trying to help others afflicted with the virus.
Last week, the hospital restricted patient visits – now allowing only one designated visitor per bed patient on the general hospital corridor, from 1-5 p.m. daily.
“It’s a hard step to cut back on visits but we have to put the patient’s safety first,” said Respiratory Care Department Head Michelle Lively. “We are seeing an increase in COVID cases through the emergency department, and the COVID wing of the hospital is already in use.”
Health systems are continuing to prepare and make sure there is room for more patients. Lively said transferring patients too sick for local care is currently a problem because surgery and elective procedures are still going on at larger institutions, limiting the beds available in their hospitals.
Mercy Health/Love County nurses who battled through the first surge of bed patients regret seeing the virus make a comeback in the Marietta area. In 2020, a nurse’s station was set up within the closed suite of...
Posted on Thursday, August 5th, 2021
The Love County Health Department, 200 CE Colston Dr., Marietta, is a resource hotspot!
Go there today to be vaccinated for COVID-19. While you are there, sign up for New Expanded Medicaid. It is for low-income men and women ages 19-64.
Posted on Friday, July 16th, 2021
A great opportunity is at hand for low-income adults in Love County to obtain health insurance.
SoonerCare has expanded to include eligible adults between the ages of 19-64.
Eligible means having a yearly income of $17,796 or less for an individual or $36,588 or less for a family of four.
There are no health insurance premiums for Expanded Medicaid. Co-pays are $4 for most medical services and prescriptions but are capped at 5% of income per year. Dependent family members also are covered.
Expanded Medicaid enrollees will have dental benefits, including exams, x-rays, dental cleanings, fluoride, dental fillings, and dentures and partial dentures.
SoonerCare is Oklahoma’s version of federal Medicaid. In a statewide election in 2020, voters approved an expansion of Medicaid - which means that more than 200,000 Oklahomans are now eligible to receive healthcare coverage through the program.
Expanded Medicaid went into effect July 1, 2021.
A 61-year-old local man was one of the first enrolled. He immediately called the Mercy Health/Love County clinic to make an appointment for a checkup. “I know there are things wrong with me that will need x-rays and lab tests and prescriptions. I am very relieved to have health insurance to keep me going until I reach Medicare age,” he said.
The man said during his working career, he had employer insurance for which he paid high premiums and deductibles, but most years he had no medical expenses.