The Oregon Heath Plan Window of Opportunity

Chuck Sheketoff

At its peak the Oregon Health Plan had added about 130,000 Oregonians to the state's Medicaid program. Now, its down to a meager 19,000. But enrollment is opening again, and progressives need to get help advertise that the program is opening and encourage people to apply during the January 28 to February 29 enrollment window of opportunity.

Here's the poster. Spread the word. Stay on top of the process here.


Download poster in English (PDF).
Download poster in Spanish (PDF).
Download brochure in English (PDF).
Download brochure in Spanish (PDF).

Here's your chance to help reduce the number of uninsured. Spread the word - get lots of people to apply.

  • trollbot9000 (unverified)

    Troll comment deleted. I choose who I hang around the water cooler with...and especially don't like people who hide their identity. Every day isn't Halloween.

    Don't like troll comments? Discourage them by making a donation to a cause they don't like here.

  • PeteJacobsen (unverified)

    Chuck, most folks can answer all the questions easily except for "100% of the federal poverty level." Do you have numbers? The folks reading the brochure will need a number.

    I, for one, am glad to see this opportunity for poorer folks, regardless of their favored language.

  • (Show?)

    Those are the '07 numbers. '08 numbers will be coming out soon.

    2007 HHS Poverty Guidelines Persons in Family or Household, Poverty level 1: $10,210 2: $13,690 3: $17,170 4: $20,650 5: $24,130 6: $27,610 7: $31,090 8: $34,570

    For each additional person, add $3,480

    SOURCE: Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 15, January 24, 2007, pp. 3147–3148

  • Rose Wilde (unverified)

    Thanks for the PR Chuck. One thing to make sure people understand is that between 1/28 and 2/29 they can sign up to reserve and OPPORTUNITY to apply. Because demand will far exceed supply (the program has room for about 6000 more members at current funding levels), those on the list at the end of February will be put into a random drawing process. Those selected from this process will get an application sent to them (IN the MAIL, caution to those without permanent address!), which they must complete and return by the end of March (or there abouts). Then their application is reviewed for eligibility, and those eligible should be admitted to the program.

    The total number of people on OHP Standard now is about 19,000 -- far below the boost under Kitzhaber. This is just a safety net for a few people now -- let's keep working on universal health care, because that is the only way to control the spiraling costs of health care. Rose Wilde, MPH (OSU '06)

  • (Show?)

    Pete, good comment. Jenni, thanks. Here's a table showing annual, monthly and hourly figures for the 2007 Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG). DO NOT USE THESE NUMBERS IN RECRUITMENT - THEY WILL CHANGE BY THE TIME THE PROGRAM RE-OPENS!

    When the 2008 FPIG numbers come out we will update that table and I expect the Oregon Department of Human Services to adopt them almost immediately upon publication in the Federal Register so that they can apply the new (higher) numbers to the applicants for the Oregon Health Plan. I also imagine they will make the 2008 numbers available when that happens in their materials. If they had published the 2007 numbers some ultimately eligible people would have been wrongly discouraged from applying.

  • (Show?)


    Thanks. Yes, it is a lottery for health care for limited spots. But we need to show the Legislature and voters that there's tremendous demand and have lots of people sign up for the opportunity to participate in the lottery for health care.

    I do need to correct some revisionist history about Governor Kitzhaber. The Oregon Health Plan expansion did not have a "boost under Kitzhaber." He presided over the decline of the number of people the Oregon Health Plan serves.

    It was implemented in February 2004 under Governor Roberts and climbed to over 130,000 by August 1995. But Governor Kitzhaber signed legislation in the 1995 session of the Legislature that began the downward trend and painful death of the OHP expansion, making thousands of Oregonians ineligible. Among the changes: college students were made ineligible, premiums and copays were adopted, a three month income test was adopted, and a resource limit was adopted. The plan has never recovered from these and other changes.

  • PeteJacobsen (unverified)

    I understand "showing the legislature", but many of these folks will find the low odds of actually getting into this program disheartening. In my hobby (fixing bikes free) I've met quite a few very poor folks. Many are "sleeping rough" as they say, and having no address will not be eligible. I can think of two couples, however, who I'll get the flyer to.

    One of the guys broke his knee, but was back at manual labor two days later because they needed food. The guy in the other family was hospitalized (don't know how payment was handled) with a heart attack. Within a week he was back to "canning" (picking up bottles and cans for the state refund) to get money for the meds he needed, and, oh yeah, food. Both couples have only (rather old) bikes for transportation.

    There seem to be a lot of folks trying hard to make it. I'm still pushing hard for universal health care.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)

    I never knew that Bilawal did modeling work for Oregon's DHS!

  • (Show?)

    Pete and others who know the homeless:

    Organizations and individuals can sign up homeless or other uninsured persons for the reservation list and use their own address to receive the notification that the persons have been chosen in the monthly lottery. Then the org/indiv contacts the person and helps them apply.

    Just as importantly, however, note that applying for the reservation list is not an application for the Oregon Health Plan. If you know someone who is uninsured, have them apply for the OHP today - they may be "categorically eligible" and thus need not put all their eggs in the health plan lottery basket.

  • Miles (unverified)

    Italics off?

    Thanks for that last point, Chuck. It's important for people to realize that OHP Standard is what's left of the waiver Oregon was granted in the early 90s. It is not the state's basic Medicaid program. Oregon has to enroll anyone who is categorically eligible under federal Medicaid law, regardless of funding constraints.

    Chuck will know the exact number, but I believe that only about 60-70% of Oregonians eligible for Medicaid are actually enrolled. This is also true of the kids in Oregon's SCHIP program. One way to decrease the number of uninsured is through outreach to these vulnerable populations. Even with the failure of M50, we could get almost to the same point by simply enrolling everyone who is eligible. This would of course be a financial hit to the state, but if you believe like I do that health care is a fundamental right, I'd prefer to spend tax dollars first on health, rather than the other way around.

  • Nitin Rai (unverified)

    My last recollection about this plan was it was being managed very poorly and the providers (physicians) has a very difficult time getting paid and were not adequately paid. Has there been changes in that regard. It is very important to get physician support or they will simply not accept patients from OHP. The last thing we want are patients who have insurance just not being able to find a good provider to take care of their medical needs

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