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DHS news release

Jan. 22, 2008

Contact: Jim Sellers 503-945-5738
Program contact: Roger Staples 503-945-6498

Reservation list supported by Health Plan's most energetic outreach effort

When state workers begin taking Oregon Health Plan reservations Monday morning, they will be supported by the most comprehensive public awareness campaign ever undertaken by the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS).

Nearly 760,000 informational brochures are being distributed, more than 1,800 community partners have received posters and other materials, and approximately 330,000 households receiving DHS benefits are getting information to share with family, friends and neighbors. Materials are available at all DHS offices, county health departments, and most major hospitals and clinics.

"We've pulled out all the stops to reach as many people as possible about this opportunity to get on the Oregon Health Plan reservation list," said Jim Edge, state Medicaid director in DHS. "We want to ensure the person living in Malheur County has the same opportunity as the Multnomah County resident."

On Monday, Jan. 28, Oregonians may begin putting their names on the reservation list by visiting a DHS office or by using the phone, a Web site, e-mail, fax or U.S. Mail. The Standard benefit plan, closed to new enrollments since mid-2004, is designed for non-pregnant, low-income adults who do not qualify for traditional Medicaid coverage.

Other Medicaid programs are always open to people who are aged, blind or disabled, children under age 19, and persons receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

After the OHP-Standard reservation list closes Feb. 29, a computer will randomly pull a limited number of names, and DHS staff will mail applications to those individuals. The application must be completed and returned within 30 days for the individual to be considered for OHP-Standard coverage, which now enrolls fewer than 19,000 people. Names will be randomly selected monthly to achieve an average of 24,000 enrollees during the two-year budget period.

"This part of the Oregon Health Plan enrolled more than 130,000 people at its peak," Edge said, "so we expect demand to be strong. We are using a reservation list because we know demand will far outstrip the budget. "

DHS is offering several ways to put your name on the reservation list:

  • Submit a reservation list request form online at the OHP Standard Web site. This is the preferred option because it reduces the expense of data entry by state workers.
  • Complete and send a hard copy of the request form to DHS. The form is posted on the DHS Web site and will be available at all DHS and Area Agency on Aging field offices, county health departments and most major hospitals and clinics.
  • Call 1-800-699-9075 or 503-378-2666 (Salem-area callers) or 503-378-7800 (TTY for hearing-impaired callers), and ask to have your name placed on the reservation list. Beginning Jan. 28, the phone bank will be open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Pacific time. Someone may call for another individual by providing the individual's full name, mailing address and date of birth. The call will require 10-20 minutes to complete.
  • Send the required information -- full name, mailing address and date of birth -- by e-mail to standard.reservatio​n@state.or.us or send it by U.S. Mail to Oregon Health Plan, P.O. Box 14520, Salem, OR 97309-5044.

Confirmation cards will be mailed weekly to people who put their names on the reservation list.

DHS brochures being used in the public awareness campaign are printed in 10 languages: Cambodian, Chinese, English, Korean, Laotian, Romanian, Russian, Somalian, Spanish and Vietnamese. Operators at the Oregon Health Plan call center speak four languages, and use a translation service with callers who speak other languages.

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