SoonerCare Member Memo- Spring Edition

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Spring Is Here, Bring On The Allergies!

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For Oklahomans, spring is the start of warmer weather, beautiful flowers and allergy season. Here are a few tips to help reduce allergies:


Wipe surfaces with a damp cloth, wet-mop floors, and vacuum carpets at least once a week to reduce dust. 

Stuffed animals should also be washed weekly in hot water or be sealed in a plastic bag and left overnight in the freezer.


Another cause of allergies is mold. To fight it, regularly clean household surfaces with an ammonia-based cleaner. Also, avoid using humidifiers and vaporizers. (If you need to use either, be sure to clean it weekly.)


Cats and dogs are among the most frequent causes of allergies. If you have a family history of allergies, you may want to delay adopting a pet for a few years until you know if your child is allergic. If you already have a pet, groom and bathe the pet frequently, and keep it out of your child's bedroom and play areas.

We are here to help you fight off the sneezes, so you can get back to enjoying springtime fun!

SoonerCare covers over-the-counter allergy, cold and fever products for members younger than 21 years of age with a prescription from your doctor. To find out what products are covered, contact the SoonerCare Pharmacy Help Desk at 1-800-987-7767, option 5.  You can also find more information by clicking here.

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Keep Your Baby Safe From Lead


There is no safe level of lead, and children under the age of six month are the most likely to affected by lead poisoning. Here are some quick tips to help reduce your baby's risk.

  • Encourage hand-washing for children, to help them avoid taking in lead dust.
  • If you live in a house built prior to 1978, practice good housekeeping and clean using wet methods such as damp towels and wet mops. This helps not to stir up lead dust. 
  • Ensure that children eat nutritious meals rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C. Doing so can decrease lead absorption.

Prevention is key when it comes to lead poisoning. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like additional information, please contact the Oklahoma Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (OCLPPP) at the Oklahoma State Department of Health: 1-405-271-6617. 

You can also find helpful information about blood lead screening and safety tips by clicking here.

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OHCA Tackles Gaps In Health Care

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Did you know?

Health disparities are preventable differences in the rate of disease, mortality and bad health outcomes from a disease between specific groups. 

Compared to non-Hispanic whites, African Americans are:

  • 40 percent more likely to die from stroke.
  • 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease.
  • 40 percent more likely to be obese.
  • 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer.
  • 60 percent more likely to be diabetic. 
  • twice as likely to die from cervical cancer and prostate cancer. 

In an effort to stop some of these differences, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority has formed a Health Disparities Taskforce. The Taskforce will research health gaps among African Americans in Oklahoma, and recommend interventions that will help reduce the health conditions that add to these differences. 

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From Farm To Fresh: Eating Healthy This Summer

farmers market

  • Local farmer’s markets are greats place to shop for fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables.
  • Some Oklahoma farmer’s markets accept SNAP benefits.
  • You can use your SNAP EBT card at 22 Oklahoma farmers markets.  Click on the map above for a location near you. 
  • Eight farmer’s markets around the state not only accept SNAP but also participate in the Double Up Program. At these markets, for every $1 you spend from your SNAP benefits you earn another $1 to spend on locally grown produce (up to $20).  This is a great way to get more healthy produce for your money.

For information on how to apply for SNAP, please visit  your county DHS office, Social Security office, or learn more about SNAP by clicking here .

To get healthy recipes, safety and fitness tips, click here.

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Easy Tips For Healthy Teeth!

tooth wearing a cape and holding a toothbrusth and toothpaste

How important are your teeth?

Think of your mouth as a window into your overall health. General health issues could arise from early problems in your mouth. Thankfully, most oral problems can be prevented when you practice good oral hygiene.

This means:

  • flossing once a day
  • brushing at least twice a day
  • avoiding sugary and sticky food/drink
  • keeping up with your six-month cleaning

Another great reason to drink water!

While it’s suggested to use toothpaste or mouth wash containing fluoride, fluoride is also added in many community water systems. Fluoride helps in the fight against tooth decay, making teeth more resistant to bacteria. If your community does not have fluoridated water, talk to your dentist about other options of fluoride treatment.

Dental Misconceptions


Baby teeth aren’t important.

  • Truth: Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, help hold space in the jaws for the permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth can drift. Making it difficult for other teeth to grow in.


No pain, no problems.

  • Truth: While you may experience serious pain, even the slightest discomfort can be a sign of a bigger issue. Keeping up with your routine dental visits and proper oral hygiene done at home can help prevent dental complications.

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Behavior Therapy May The Right Option For Your Child

Mary Poppins sang “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” But is medicine the best way to care for your child?

Most young children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may not need medicine. Instead, they may improve their behavior, self-control and self-esteem when their parents participate in a program known as behavior therapy. Parents and other caregivers can play a key role in helping their child's behavior improve.

Unlike ADHD medications, there are no side effects for children when behavior therapy is used. More than 1 out of 10 people taking ADHD medications experience stomach pain, loss of appetite, headache, dry mouth, and trouble sleeping. Young children are even more likely to have these side effects. However, medication as a stand-alone treatment is still being used for more than half of all young children with ADHD.

When behavior therapy alone is used, ADHD symptoms improve, family relationships get better, and families experience less stress. Sounds like a win-win-win situation! That’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks. The AAP  recommends that parents of young children try behavior training before trying medicine for ADHD.

behavioral health therapy picture

The benefits of behavioral therapy continue for many months, or even years, after the training is finished. Training usually only takes eight to 16 sessions.  These parenting techniques may also be included in family psychotherapy visits, provided the visits are addressing specific needs of the child. Behavior therapy programs include Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), Incredible Years Parenting Program, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and New Forest Parenting Program.

So, consider putting down the prescription and picking up the phone to schedule a little behavior therapy. It may just be the best call for you and your child! Caregivers can find a behavior therapy provider by calling 1- 800- 652-2010 or by clicking Find a Provider to locate a  behavioral health provider in their area.

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summer safety

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How To Safely Dispose Of Unused Medicines

Source: The Food and Drug Administration


It is important to safely dispose of any unused medication to reduce the chances of  someone  accidentally taking pills that were not prescribed to them. Below are a few options  provided by the Food and Drug Administration for you to consider when getting rid of unused medication.

Give Unused Medicine to Authorized Collectors for Disposal

You should remove expired, unwanted, or unused medicines from your home as quickly as possible to help reduce the chance that others may accidentally take or intentionally misuse the unneeded medicine.

Medicine take-back programs are a good way to safely get rid of most types of unneeded medicines. Local law enforcement agencies may also sponsor medicine take-back programs in your community. You can also contact your local waste management authority to learn about medication disposal options for your area.

Dispose in Household Trash

If no medicine take back program or no authorized collectors are available in your area, and there are no specific disposal instructions on the label, you can also follow these simple steps to dispose of most medicines in the household trash:

  1. Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds;
  2. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag;
  3. Throw the container in your household trash;
  4. Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it unreadable, then dispose of the container.

Flushing of Certain Medicines 

There are a small number of medicines that may be really harmful and, in some cases, fatal with just one dose if they are used by someone other than the person that the medicine was prescribed. To prevent accidental ingestion by children, or pets, it is recommended that these medicines be disposed of quickly through a medicine take-back program or by transferring them to an authorized collector. If these disposal options are not readily available, it is recommended that these medicines be flushed down the sink or toilet as soon as they are no longer needed.

Click: Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should Know to read the full  article and learn more tips for properly disposing of unused medication.

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Do You Have Other Health Insurance?

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Did you know?

In addition to SoonerCare, if you have other insurance, that insurance must pay the claim before OHCA pays anything on your behalf, in most cases. Exchanges are done on every individual, not just on  families. In addition, OHCA works very closely with Child Support Enforcement (CSED). Sometimes, the private insurance that is added to your child’s file is the insurance that CSED has required an employer to activate. Therefore, it is not uncommon for the parent with primary custody to not know there is another insurance available. It is always best to log on to your SoonerCare account regularly and verify the information is accurate and up to date. 

How does having private insurance affect me?

When a member has private insurance, often called third-party liability (TPL), that insurance is the primary insurance and Soonercare is secondary.  TPL carriers are the health insurance companies with which OHCA maintains a third party resource/billing relationship. Third parties include, but are not limited to, private health insurance, casualty insurance, worker's compensation, estates, trusts, tort proceeds and Medicare.   SoonerCare pays only the deductibles and a portion of the co-insurance when certain items are covered by Medicare. OHCA also pays the monthly Medicare Part B premium for SoonerCare members age 65 or older and for certain blind or disabled persons. If an eligible person has other medical insurance, that insurance company must be billed before SoonerCare is billed. Medicaid is the payer of last resort in most circumstances and pays for services only after a liable third- party has met its legal obligation to pay. Members must comply with all requirements of their primary insurance, as well as SoonerCare requirements in order to take advantage of both coverages. For example, a member must comply with the network restrictions of both the primary and SoonerCare plans, as well as prior authorization requirements. If the member does not comply with the requirements of the primary plan, he/she will be responsible for the charges incurred. If the provider is aware of private insurance or liability, a claim must first be filed with that source. When private insurance information is known to the OHCA, the eligibility verification system will reflect that information.

If you find that the other insurance has been added to your account incorrectly, please update it or let us know at the TPL helpline at  1-800-522-0114. 

 If you have any problems locating a provider that accepts both Soonercare and the private insurance please contact member services at 1-800-987-7767 option 1. 

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My SoonerCare Story: The Moore Family

mom with daughters posing for picture

In 2014, Ray and Tiffany Moore, along with their two daughters, Saraya (15) and Serenity (13), moved from Arkansas to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a fresh start.

One of the first priorities for the parents was getting their daughters health care coverage. They decided to apply for SoonerCare and were instantly approved.

“Having SoonerCare for the girls [has] have been a great help," said Tiffany. "It’s provided the girls with great dental, health and vision coverage."

The Moore's move also brought something new for the family …Oklahoma allergy season. 

“In Oklahoma, it seems as though allergy season is all year long," Tiffany said. "When you have more than one child, chances are you need more than one allergy medication … and having SoonerCare cover those expenses has been a big help.”

SoonerCare has been a saving grace for the Moore's on several occasions. Tiffany recalls when Saraya ended up developing major complications after having her wisdom teeth removed. If not for the services SoonerCare covered, and how quickly providers were able to treat her, the situation could have been much worse for the family.

“It was one of those situations where she had to get care and her primary care doctor was able to see her quickly, and then referred her to a specialist who saw her within a few days," said the relieved mother. "Without SoonerCare, the doctor, the specialist and the X-ray costs would have been unmanageable.”

It has been a nice surprise that the Moore children can be seen by their doctor the same day.

"When you don’t have to rearrange your day or your week because the doctors can you get in quickly, means a lot," Tiffany said. "We are thankful for the quality of health care the girls get with SoonerCare.”

Do you have a story about how SoonerCare has made a positive difference in your life? Whether we've helped with a life-saving medical treatment or the opportunity to receive routine medical care for your child, we'd love to hear from you! Click here to tell your #MySoonerCare story!

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