DHS news release
Jan. 25, 2008
Contact: Jim Sellers 503-945-5738
Program contact: Karen House 503-945-6254
Oregon Health Plan reservation list opens Monday at 7 a.m.
A 60-line call center will begin taking calls Monday at 7 a.m. from low-income Oregon adults wanting to put their names on a reservation list for possible health-care coverage.
Operators will staff the phones 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday, through Feb. 29, after which a computer will randomly draw names from the reservation list to receive applications for the health plan's Standard benefit plan.
The first 3,000 applications will be mailed in March, with declining numbers mailed in several subsequent months.
"By the end of February, we are expecting tens of thousands of Oregonians will have put their names on the reservation list," said Jim Edge, state Medicaid director in the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). "The Standard plan has fewer than 19,000 enrolled today compared with nearly 132,000 at its peak."
The Standard plan, for low-income adults who do not qualify for traditional Medicaid coverage, currently has budget support for a two-year average of 24,000 people. The larger Oregon Health Plan program, known as OHP-Plus, is always open for people who are aged, blind, disabled, children under age 19 and people receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. There are nearly 350,000 people now enrolled.
With 60 lines, the call center expects callers will either reach a live operator or have their call sent to voicemail, where they can leave a callback message or provide the required information (full name, mailing address and date of birth). In addition to the phone lines, people also may pick up a request form at a DHS office, send a request form from the DHS Web site at http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/, or use e-mail or U.S. Mail The options:
Submit a reservation list request form online at . 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 at www.oregon.gov/DHS/open/request-form.shtml 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 Monday, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or send it by U.S. Mail to Oregon Health Plan, P.O. Box 14520, Salem, OR 97309-5044.
Workers at the call center speak English, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese, and use a translation service with callers who speak other languages. Confirmations will be mailed weekly to people who sign up.
The Standard benefit package covers physician services, prescription drugs, chemical dependency and mental health services, emergency medical services and limited dental, hospital and vision benefits. Enrollees pay monthly premiums of $0 to $20, depending on income and number of people in the household.
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