Statement about recommendations to expand pregnancy coverage, postpartum care

Expanding health care access for pregnant Oklahomans is an important next step to help ensure the health and well-being for our state’s children and families. 

OK Policy applauds the proposals made by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and recommended by the H.E.L.P Task Force during its Tuesday meeting. 

Those recommendations include: 

  • Raising the income threshold for pregnant Oklahomans to qualify for Medicaid from 138% to 205% of the federal poverty level (from $31,780 to $47,210 for a family of three), and 
  • Expanding the length of time they continue to qualify for Medicaid care postpartum from 60 days to 12 months. 

As the recently released KIDS COUNT data shows, Oklahoma has among the lowest health outcomes for its children. The state’s maternal mortality rate is higher than the national average, and Oklahoma women continue to experience poor health outcomes.

If formally adopted into OHCA policy, these changes would bring Oklahoma into alignment with neighboring states and provide access to comprehensive, affordable, quality health care for thousands of families. 

We appreciate Gov. Stitt’s explicit support of the recommendations, which can help reverse the state’s poor maternal mortality rate and help improve the health of Oklahoma’s children. 

Quote attributable to Emma Morris, Health Care and Revenue Policy Analyst for the Oklahoma Policy Institute: 

“Oklahoma children and families are long overdue for policy changes that can turn the tide on the abysmal health outcomes they’ve experienced for far too long. Today’s recommendations represent an important step towards a better future, but it will need to be paired with the commitment and political will to support the long-term health and well-being of our children and families.”


David Hamby has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning communicator, including overseeing communication programs for Oklahoma higher education institutions and other organizations. Before joining OK Policy, he was director of public relations for Rogers State University where he managed the school’s external communication programs and served as a member of the president’s leadership team. He served in a similar communications role for five years at the University of Tulsa. He also has worked in communications roles at Oklahoma State University and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas. He joined OK Policy in October 2019.

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