ON Congress approves $5.6M for health benefit plan in FY 2017

The Fifth Osage Nation Congress unanimously approved $5.6 million for the Nation’s health benefit card program on Sept. 27 for the 2017 fiscal year.

According to the bill (ONCA 16-99 sponsored by Congresswoman Shannon Edwards), the $5.6 million will come from the Nation’s general fund and that money will be placed in the revolving fund designated for the health benefit plan fund. The bill now goes to Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear’s office for review and action.

The Nation’s health benefit plan, available to enrolled Osages, is comprised of the health benefit card program with Osages under age 65 eligible to receive an annual maximum $500 benefit and Osages age 65 and over are eligible for a $1,000 maximum benefit. The health benefit plan also offers to Osage elders the option to participate in the Group Medicare Supplement insurance Plan F program in lieu of the health benefit card program. 

For more information on the Nation’s health benefit plan, go to the following site for enrollment details and forms:

As the Congress continues consideration of the FY 2017 budgets, the Tzi-Zho Session will be extended past the regular 24-day duration. To request a session extension, a written request must be signed by two-thirds of the Congress members, according to the Osage Constitution.

During the Sept. 26 session, Osage Nation Congressional Speaker Archie Mason said enough Congressional member signatures are gathered to extend the Tzi-Zho Session up to three additional days. With the added days, the Tzi-Zho Session will stretch Oct. 4-6.