By: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
The Affordable Care Act has changed the way people throughout the U.S. get health care coverage, including American Indians. The Health Insurance Marketplace gives American Indians special privileges to sign up and buy insurance throughout the year, while non-American Indians may only enroll during special monthly enrollment periods. The law has also helped expand access to health care coverage to tribal populations, which often have specific health care needs.
There are many benefits to having health insurance coverage, which include:
- American Indian clinics may be able to bill for services provided to you, bringing additional funding into the facility.
- The ability to receive specialty health care services unavailable at your local tribal clinic or hospital.
- Having the ability to access health care coverage when you are traveling or away from the American Indian clinic’s service area.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma’s Mobile Assistance Center (MAC) travels around the state to help Oklahomans understand their health insurance coverage options. Tribal citizens and all individuals are invited to attend the MAC’s free come-and-go events to learn about their health insurance options and see if they qualify for financial assistance to help lower the cost of monthly payments. In some cases, this financial assistance may cover the full premium cost. Customer service support is also available at the MAC events for current members who may have questions about their coverage.
“The Affordable Care Act provides American Indians with opportunities to compare and buy health insurance in a new way,” BCBSOK President Ted Haynes said. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma wants to help people understand their options so they have an opportunity to enroll and choose a plan that’s right for them.”
To learn more about health insurance options and enrollment, individuals are encouraged to attend an upcoming MAC event. A schedule can be found at www.bcbsok.com by clicking “attend a seminar”. Individuals may also contact BCBSOK’s dedicated customer service representatives at (855) 636-8702, or ask an Oklahoma City Indian Clinic benefits coordinator at (405) 948-4900.