Insure Oklahoma now is helping to pay health coverage premiums for 8,041 state residents, up from 4,439 in October 2007.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority set up the Employer/Employee Partnership for Insurance Coverage, the agency that runs Insure Oklahoma, to pay 60% or more of the health insurance bill for eligible businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees.

Oklahoma is using a state tobacco tax and federal money to pay for the program.

A public campaign has led to a big increase in program Web site hits and calls to the program call center in the past few months, officials say.