Lauren Lewthwaite Last Updated On: August 14, 2023

Exploring Your Health Insurance Options in Oklahoma

Affordable health insurance isn’t a pipe dream, whether you live in Tulsa, Norma, or Oklahoma City itself. But cost isn’t the only factor you want to be aware of when searching for a new health insurance plan. Keep reading for everything you could need to know about health insurance in the Sooner State, from plan types to average costs per month, because the more you know, the better prepared you can be. 

Great health care awaits. Let’s dive in. 

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Table of Contents

Types of Health Insurance Plans in Oklahoma

Finding health insurance can feel like a burden, especially when you don’t even know where to start. This is why we’re breaking down the types of health insurance plans that are available to you in Oklahoma, so that you can start to figure out what you need. Health insurance might not be optional for you, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

So here are the main types of health insurance to choose from, based on your unique situation. 

Individual & Family Plans

In Oklahoma, individuals and families can use the federally facilitated exchange to shop for private health insurance. These plans are compliant with the Affordable Care Act and you can choose from plans across seven different insurance providers as of 2023. 

These private health care plans are broken into metal tiers that help guide you to the right plan based on how much you’re wanting to spend on premiums versus out-of-pocket costs. 

The tiers include:

  • Bronze: These plans have the lowest premiums, but you’ll have to pay the most out of pocket should you need health care. Bronze plans are ideal for those who don’t require much in the way of medical care, so it makes more sense to pay out of pocket for it when you do, rather than higher premiums year round.
    • You pay 40% of the costs, the insurer pays 60% of the costs
    • The average monthly cost is $406 for a 21-year-old and $519 for a 40-year-old
  • Silver: Silver plans have slightly higher premiums than bronze, but lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. Most doctor visits, prescription drugs, and preventative care are covered under Silver plans. The main draw of Silver is the fact that it’s the only tier eligible for cost-sharing reduction based on your income and family size, which could save you thousands per year if you qualify. Click here for more details.
    • You pay 30% of costs, insurer pays 70% of costs
    • Average monthly cost is $496 for a 21-year-old and $634 for a 40-year-old
  • Gold: Contrary to what the name implies, Gold plans aren’t necessarily the best. They simply represent plans that cover most of your healthcare needs, in return for higher premiums. If you visit the doctor regularly or have a health condition, Gold plans will make more financial sense for you.
    • You pay 20% of costs, insurer pays 80% of costs
    • Average monthly cost is $483 for a 21-year-old and $617 for a 40-year-old
  • Platinum: These plans have the highest premiums and lowest deductibles out of all tiers. If you need plenty of medical care, you’ll see savings soonest on a Platinum plan.
    • You pay 10% of costs, insurer pays 90% of costs
  • Catastrophic: A less common option are Catastrophic plans. Not everyone is eligible for these; you have to be under the age of 30 or have a financial hardship, such as being homeless or having filed for bankruptcy. These plans have low monthly premiums and high deductibles and cover just emergency care and some preventative care.

Reviewing your coverage annually is key to ensuring you’re getting the most out of your plan and not paying more than you need to. Keep in mind that plan rates can change every year; for example, Bronze plans increased 4% from 2022 to 2023 in Oklahoma, while the costs for Gold plans dropped 3% on average. 

You can switch your plan every year during open enrollment, which occurs from November 1 to January 15 in Oklahoma. Outside of this, you can switch plans during a special enrollment period if you’ve had a qualifying life event, like a birth, death, marriage, divorce, job loss, etc. 

Here’s a tip: a new birth is a qualifying life event for switching insurance plans, but it’s also a good time to review your finances and make sure you’re financially ready for life as a new parent. Go ahead and grab our free financial guide for new parents here to stay ahead of the curve.

Private health insurance can be expensive. We’ll go over ways to find low-cost health insurance in Oklahoma later, but if you can qualify for government or employer-sponsored healthcare, you’ll save a pretty penny. More on these types of plans next.

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Government Plans

Government healthcare plans are subsidized by the government, which can save you significantly if you qualify. These are the main programs available to you in Oklahoma:
  • Medicare: Medicare is for those aged 65 and up, or for those who qualify because of conditions liked End-Stage Renal Disease or ALS. As of 2022, there were almost 800,000 Oklahomans enrolled in Medicare. Once you become eligible for Medicare at age 65, you’re required to enroll unless you have adequate health care from another means, such as work. Medicare consists of four parts and you can pick and choose which ones you enroll in. These parts include:
    • Part A: Hospital coverage, as well as hospice care, skilled nursing facilities, and home health care.
    • Part B: Services from doctors, outpatient care, preventative services, medical equipment, and more.
    • Part C: Medicare Advantage, a Medicare-approved plan from a private insurance provider that includes Parts A, B, and D, as well as sometimes vision, dental, and more.
    • Part D: Prescription drug coverage.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is designed for those who could not afford health care otherwise. In Oklahoma, Medicaid is referred to as SoonerCare and over 330,000 residents are enrolled in it. With SoonerCare, health care costs are mostly, if not completely, covered for qualified individuals. To be eligible, you must meet one of these conditions:
    • An adult under the age of 65 with a household income of up to 138% of the poverty level
    • Pregnant women with income up to 210% of the poverty level
    • Children in households with income up to 210% of the poverty level
    • People with disabilities, depending on income and assets
  • Insure Oklahoma: This state-run program subsidizes health insurance for those with incomes up to the poverty level. To qualify, you would obtain health insurance from one of the 3,000 employers enrolled in the Insure Oklahoma program. The state pays 60% of costs, your employer pays 25% of costs, and you would pay 15%.
Not everyone qualifies for government assistance, and that’s okay. You can still find savings elsewhere. Keep reading for that and more. 

Employer-Sponsored Health Plans

Many Oklahomans get their health insurance from their employer. This can save you significantly in terms of costs, because the employer pays for some (or all, if you’re lucky!) of your premiums. However, it also means you have no say in the plan. You can also double up on coverage by accessing your spouse’s health insurance from work to help offset costs even more. 

If you lose your job, you can still retain access to your previous health insurance for 18 to 36 months, depending on your situation, thanks to COBRA. This gives you time to find a new job and qualify for health insurance, or find a private insurance plan that works for you. Keep in mind, your previous employer will no longer subsidize your premiums, so costs can shoot up for you under COBRA. 

Short-Term Health Insurance

There are plenty of reasons for needing a short-term fix, such as bridging the gap between jobs or giving yourself time to find the insurance plan, or waiting for open enrollment. Short-term health insurance plans can be purchased with coverage for initial terms of 364 days, or three years total with renewals. Short-term health insurance can help in a pinch, but it can end up being more expensive for you. They also typically exclude pre-existing conditions, so these types of plans might not be an option for you. 

Note, the average monthly premium for short-term health insurance in Oklahoma was $264.90 in 2022.

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Finding Affordable Health Insurance Quotes in Oklahoma

Health insurance can be a major expense in any budget, but there are ways to save on the bottom line so that you don’t have to skimp on coverage. But first, let’s get a sense of average costs in the Sooner State. The average cost of health insurance in Oklahoma is $548 per month.  Here are some more fast facts to give you a clearer idea of costs:
  • An individual and child will pay $1,014 a month on average
  • A couple aged 40 will pay $1,269 on average
  • A family of four (with two kids) will pay $2,028 on average
Of course, your exact costs will depend on a number of factors, like your age, health, plan, location, eligibility for cost-sharing reductions, and more. But if these averages still feel too high, we’ve got cost saving tips for you. Here are some ways to find low cost health insurance in Oklahoma:
  • Stay in Network: Your insurance provider has negotiated lower rates with certain providers, referred to as your network. By staying in network, you can save big and avoid the risk of having to pay out of pocket should your provider choose not to cover out-of-network services.
  • Use Your Preventative Care: Preventative care, like vaccines, physicals, screenings, etc., are easy to overlook but are important for your overall health. BY using up your preventative care benefits, you can help protect your health and help prevent costly services down the line.
  • Negotiate Medical Costs: Negotiating isn’t always pleasant, but if it can save you on your healthcare costs, it’s worth it. Before your treatment, call the provider and ask for a discount for paying upfront or for paying in cash. While you’re at it, be sure to always get a line item invoice and double check any charges you don’t understand.
  • Ask for Generic: If you’re prescribed medication, always ask for the generic version of the drug to save on fees. It’s the same medication, just without the fancy brand name.
  • Review Your Coverage: Plans can increase or decrease in costs each year, which is why it’s so important to review your coverage annually and switch plans if it makes sense. Open enrollment is your cue to check your coverage and make sure it’s still meeting your needs and your budget.
These are just some of the ways you can find low cost health insurance in Oklahoma. Your best bet is to shop around for coverage and compare rates and plans to find the best option for you and your wallet. Start by getting access to free quotes here

Take Care of Your Health with Affordable Health Insurance in Oklahoma

Health is wealth, but saving money on health insurance isn’t bad either. Once you figure out which plan type is right for you and your family, it’s time to start reviewing quotes and coverage. 

Insurance is no one’s idea of a good time, but investing an hour or two into researching the best plan will pay off in dividends because you’ll be able to get the care you need and pay a rate you’re comfortable with. 

Your health is in your hands. Get started with access to free quotes fast here


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