State seeks people to introduce new health insurance plan for low-income Oregonians – Oregon Capital Chronicle


The Oregon Health Authority is looking for people with a range of experience to help design a new health care plan that covers up to 300,000 low-income Oregonians.

The plan will mark a major shift in health insurance in Oregon by extending taxpayer-assisted coverage to low-income Oregonians who earn slightly too much for Medicaid.

This year, the state will review the 1.4 million Oregonians currently on Medicaid to determine who still qualifies for income requirements. An individual can earn up to around $19,000 per year; the income level is set at about $32,000 per year for a family of three.

A committee the state is forming will work on a new plan for people who earn too much for Medicaid but are still considered low-income: up to $27,000 a year for an individual and $46,000 for a family of three. The state expects 90,000 to 300,000 people currently covered by Medicaid to be deported during the redetermination process. They would have the ability to purchase their own insurance in the federal online marketplace, though many would likely remain uninsured.

The committee is tasked with coming up with a bridging plan to provide health care coverage to those people who typically bounce on and off Medicaid as their incomes change.

The program will be paid for with federal grants that would normally go to people signing up for health care coverage through the online marketplace, provided the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services agrees.

The 21-member Bridge Program Task Force will include four positions appointed by state lawmakers and four government agency representatives. Those filling the remaining 13 positions will be appointed by Governor Kate Brown.

The health authority is looking for low-income workers for a seat. Other seats will go to health equity experts, someone with experience helping consumers choose health insurance plans, a union representative, a member of the health insurance industry , a public servant who works for a Medicaid insurer, an employee of a hospital or health system, a behavioral health specialist, dentist and two members of insurance advisory committees.

Brown will appoint the members next month and they are expected to produce a plan by September 1. Meetings should be held every three weeks for three hours in the afternoon. Some committee members may be compensated for their time or expenses.


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