The Oklahoma Health Care Authority is looking to hire a national Medicaid expert to help Gov. Kevin Stitt put the finishing touches on his health care plan.
The move could be the most telling sign yet that some form of Medicaid expansion may play a key role in the governor’s health care plan.
Stitt promised to unveil a health care plan this fall. He has not offered many details of the plan, but previously said he hopes the proposal will serve as an alternative to a possible state question to expand Medicaid to cover more low-income Oklahomans.
The governor opposes the proposed state question that would expand Medicaid to adults under age 65 whose income does not exceed 133% of the federal poverty level.
Stitt spokesman Donelle Harder said the Medicaid consultant will help Stitt improve and complete his health care plan.
“The Stitt Administration has made significant progress on a healthcare plan as we prepare for the 2020 legislative session,” she said in a statement. “The RFP will allow the administration to leverage national Medicaid expertise to strengthen the framework and finalize the details of the plan over the next couple of months. The governor is committed to improving healthcare access for all Oklahomans and turning around the state’s health rankings, which will require a long term commitment by the state to reforms and innovation.”
The OHCA on Monday published a public request for proposals for a Medicaid consultant with a Nov. 4 deadline to receive submissions.
The consultant will assist with redesigning the state’s health care system with a focus on a “whole-person” approach to health that takes into account physical health, behavioral health and social determinants of health, according to the request. The consultant will be asked to provide expertise on increasing access to affordable health care coverage in Oklahoma, streamlining the structure of state agencies that deal with health care and redesigning how they deliver health care services to residents.