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Report Provides Analysis and Technical Assistance on Oklahoma’s Section 1332 Waiver

This report was prepared by HMA and Leavitt Partners for the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

During the 2016 session, Oklahoma’s legislature enacted Senate Bill (SB) 1386, which authorized the development of a Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver. The goals of the legislation were to improve healthcare quality and access in the state while reducing costs, and to meet the needs of Oklahomans by developing a system that provides more affordable health care options. A Section 1332 Waiver, which allows states to obtain flexibility within selected requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), represents an opportunity for Oklahoma to develop its own unique program that is responsive to the needs of the state’s residents.

To gain the stakeholder input required by the federal government and SB1386, the state established a 1332 State Innovation Waiver Task Force to analyze options for reducing the financial burden to Oklahoma residents seeking affordable, quality healthcare coverage. The task force included representatives from key stakeholder groups with an interest in the outcomes of any Section 1332 Waiver, including consumer advocates, businesses, Tribal nations, health plans, healthcare providers, and health insurance brokers. With a goal of developing a plan for establishing affordable, high quality healthcare coverage in Oklahoma’s commercial insurance market that meets the needs of state residents, the task force explored an array of issues an Oklahoma-based healthcare solution would need to address.

HMA Principals Donna Laverdiere, Nora Leibowitz, and Theresa LaPera provided expert technical assistance to Task Force members and state staff regarding the feasibility of various 1332 options, as well as timing and implementation issues.

The recently released report’s analyses provide valuable insight into how the state could proceed in the coming months to implement various proposals, some of which require other federal authority outside of a Section 1332 Waiver and others that can be accomplished through state action. The work done to date has laid the foundation for continued research and stakeholder engagement as proposals are developed. The report concludes that by piecing together a number of complementary strategies over time, Oklahoma has the potential to stabilize its individual market and increase access to health insurance for its residents.

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