DHS news release
Feb. 4, 2008
Contact: Jim Sellers 503-945-5738
Program contact: Karen House 503-945-6254
More than 33,000 Oregonians put names on health insurance reservation list
At the beginning of its second week of accepting names, the state has entered the names of 33,365 people on the reservation list for a chance to receive an application for the Oregon Health Plan's Standard benefit package.
Standard has been closed to new enrollments since July 2004.
"The high number of reservations is the best evidence we have of the great demand for health insurance," said Jim Edge, state Medicaid director in the Oregon Department of Human Services. "Although it's impossible to know how many of these people are eligible for OHP-Standard coverage, these are people who have no health insurance and consider themselves to be low income."
Edge said the call center in Salem had worked hard to try to ensure callers reach either a live operator or voicemail, including assigning more people to answer the phones and speeding up the process of pulling voicemail messages off the 60-line phone system. People who get voicemail may get on the reservation list by leaving their full name, mailing address and date of birth.
The first confirmations will be mailed Wednesday to people whose names have been entered on the reservation list. In March, 3,000 names will be randomly drawn to receive applications, which must be returned within 30 days to have eligibility reviewed.
Edge said people who cannot get through on the phone line have a variety of options to put their names on the reservation list, which will be open through Feb. 29.
Submit a reservation list request form on the DHS 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 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, for hearing-impaired callers, the TTY line at 503-378-7800, and ask to have your name placed on the reservation list. The call center is 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.
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.
Across the state, more than 200 outreach centers -- county health departments, hospitals, tribal and safety net health clinics, and other sites that deliver medical care to OHP clients -- will help people get on the reservation list or complete a Health Plan application.
The OHP-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.
The OHP-Plus plan, meanwhile, is always open to people who are aged, blind, disabled, children under age 19, pregnant women and recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families payments. Applications for OHP-Plus are available by calling toll free 1-800-359-9517.
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