ENID, Okla. — Janet Cordell said one of the first things she asks patients who call Enid Community Clinic is if they have applied for SoonerCare.
Often, she hears, “No, I’m not eligible,” but Cordell is encouraging anyone who tried to enroll in SoonerCare, which is the state’s Medicaid program, before June 1 to try again.
In June 2020, voters in Oklahoma passed State Question 802, which expanded Medicaid eligibility to include low-income adults. On June 1 this year, enrollment for the new guidelines opened, and benefits went into effect July 1.
Bob Taylor, a pharmacist at Enid Community Clinic, said he runs into many people who don’t know about the new eligibility guidelines or haven’t tried to enroll since Medicaid was expanded.
“We want to reach those people out there who still need us,” Taylor said.
SoonerCare covered children, pregnant women, elderly adults and disabled individuals in the past, but under the expanded eligibility guidelines, adults ages 19-64 whose income is 138% of the federal poverty level or lower — an estimated annual income of $17,796 for an individual or $36,588 for a family of four — are eligible to apply.
More than 200,000 people qualified, according to Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which oversees the program. Since June 1, 188,014 individuals have been approved for benefits, which includes dental care, through expansion.
Enid Community Clinic, located at 1106 E. Broadway, is open by appointment only to provide free medical care, referrals and education for people who have no health insurance and is run entirely by volunteers.
“We’re still here,” Cordell said. “We’re trying to help as many patients as we can. ... If you’re in doubt about something, call us. We’ll get you to the right place.”
Rhonda Stevison, president of Enid Street Outreach Services, said a lot of people experiencing homelessness in the community now qualify for Medicaid under the new guidelines.
Stevison said about 80 people have signed up for SoonerCare at Enid SOS’ resource center, which opened in late July to give unsheltered and low-income people a place to apply for existing services and benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid and Social Security. The center is located in the basement of Enid Faith Ways at 701 E. Park.
“All of the unsheltered individuals have pretty much been signed up,” Stevison said. “This is good because I know that they can at least address health issues. … It just relieves me to know that they’re getting healthier. Their lifestyle is hard enough, so being sick on top of that is even harder.”
Cordell said that although there will always be people who “fall through the cracks,” the free clinic does its best to identify the gaps and help people get the health care they need.
“We’re going to try to do our best to take care of them,” Cordell said.
To apply for SoonerCare, go online to https://oklaho ma.gov/ohca/individuals/mysoonercare.html, go through one of OHCA’s partner agencies or fill out an English or Spanish paper application and mail it to the address on the application. For help filling out the forms, call the SoonerCare Helpline at (800) 987-7767.
For more information about the Enid Community Clinic, call (580) 233-5300. Enid SOS’ resource center is open from noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.