Oregon extends free health insurance to low-income Oregonians – regardless of immigration status – Oregon Capital Chronicle [Boss Insurance]

Medicaid Is Funded By The Federal Government And The States.

UPDATED at 6:05 p.m. with more information from the Oregon Health Authority.

Oregon has extended free health insurance that mirrors Medicaid to all eligible residents, regardless of immigration status.

This decision came into effect on July 1. It marks the expansion of a Medicaid-like program for immigrants last year for residents who don’t qualify for Oregon’s health plan because of their immigration status. The program, A Healthier Oregoncovered those aged 19 to 24 and 55 and older who met low-income and other conditions and was funded by a $100 million allocation from the Legislature in 2021.

The expansion this month to all eligible immigrants follows a two-year, $460 million allocation for the program in the recently concluded legislative session. The Oregon Health Authority said 40,000 immigrants who had received state-funded emergency medical coverage were transferred to the program on July 1.

A spokeswoman for authorities, Amy Bacher, said the agency estimates 55,000 people will be covered by the program.

“When it comes to health, we are all connected,” Dave Baden, acting director of the Oregon Health Authority, said in a statement. “Expanding health coverage through the full implementation of Healthier Oregon will keep more individuals and families healthy, reducing costs and health risks for every community.”

Baden said the expansion sets a new standard for other states. It happens amid a debate this spring in some states, including Connecticut, Minnesota and Nevada, over extending Medicaid to undocumented immigrants, Reported Policy. Similar efforts in New York and Maryland have failed, however, with Democrats balking at the prize.

Medicaid is funded largely by the federal government, which pays about two-thirds, with the rest provided by the state. Healthier Oregon receives federal funding for emergency and pregnancy-related services, but the state pays for most benefits.

“We don’t get any help from the federal government because the people who work there don’t have papers,” Rep. Rob Nosse, D-Portland, told the Capital Chronicle.

Nosse was among the House Democrats who supported Healthier Oregon’s expansion. This is part of the state’s goal to ensure all Oregonians have medical coverage.

During the pandemic, nearly 1.5 million Oregonians, or one in three residents, were on Medicaid, which provides free dental, mental and physical care. This expansion ended in April. The state is now crossing a review process and notify those no longer eligible that they will lose their coverage in 60 days.

State officials notified about 25,000 people that they would lose their coverage, according to a statement released by the Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Human Services on June 20. It is estimated in this release that seven out of 10 people will retain their benefits under the Oregon Health Plan, the state version of Medicaid.

To qualify for the program, most residents can earn up to 138% of federal poverty line, or about $20,000 per year for an individual or about $41,500 for a family of four. Oregon has also opened up benefits to those earning up to 200% of the federal poverty level to reduce the so-called churn population falling and on Medicaid, based on their income. This means people earning up to around $29,000 a year or a family of four earning up to $60,000 a year will get the free coverage. The state estimated this would add about 25,000 more people to the Medicaid program.

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