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DHS news release

 

Feb. 12, 2008

 

Contact: Jim Sellers 503-945-5738

Program contact: Karen House 503-945-6254

 

54,000 names on Oregon Health Plan reservation list at end of second week

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The number of Oregon adults who have put their names on the reservation list for a chance to receive an application for the Oregon Health Plan’s Standard benefit package has grown to 54,272.

 

The reservation list, which opened Jan. 28, will remain open to sign-ups through Feb. 29.

 

“Although the phone lines are busy, 40 percent of the names are coming through the DHS Web site,” said Jim Edge, state Medicaid director in the Oregon Department of Human Services. “For people who have Internet access this is a fast and convenient way to sign up that also reduces the state’s expense of doing data entry.”

 

The state plans to enroll approximately 10,000 people in OHP-Standard in the next several months and, beginning in March, will randomly draw 3,000 names each month to receive applications until maximum enrollment has been reached. The state Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research estimates 457,000 Oregon adults ages 19-64 lack medical coverage, of whom 30 percent would qualify for OHP-Standard.

 

People who want to put their names on the reservation list may phone, sign up at the DHS Web site, visit a DHS office or medical facility, or use e-mail, fax or U.S. Mail. Details:

  • Submit a reservation list request form online at 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 at and is 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, 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 Monday through Friday 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 or send it by U.S. Mail to Oregon Health Plan, P.O. Box 14520, Salem, OR 97309-5044.

The Standard benefit package, open for the first time since June 2004, is financed by taxes on hospitals and managed care insurance plans; these tax revenues are matched by federal dollars. The budget will support a two-year average of 24,000 enrollees. Fewer than 19,000 are enrolled now, permitting the state to accept new enrollments.

 

After consulting with stakeholders, Edge said, the state elected to use the reservation list and random drawings as the fairest way to ensure all eligible Oregon adults have an equal chance to receive an application. “A person who puts his or her name on the reservation list Feb. 29 will have the same chance of receiving an application as someone who signed up Jan. 28,” he said.

 

The federal government, which pays for more than 60 percent of Oregon’s Medicaid program, prohibits states from selecting people based on medical need.

 

OHP-Standard 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 separate OHP-Plus plan, meanwhile, is always open to people who are aged, blind, disabled, under age 19, pregnant or receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families payments. Applications for OHP-Plus are available by calling 1-800-359-9517.