In this Nov. 14 photo, navigator Laetita Badio, front, works with the Get Covered Connector tool during a training session for navigators. Lynne Sadkly of the Associated Press
Many Oregon Health Plan members are due to renew their benefits before the end of the year on Dec. 31.
Contrary to the private health insurance plans available through the Affordable Care Act, you can apply for OHP at any time, however, members do have to renew their benefits once every year.
Renewal dates are unique for every person and not everyone renews at the same time.
Oregon Health Authority has been mailing letters to everyone who is due to renew as a reminder, complete with instructions on how to apply.
State officials are urging people to not wait until the last minute, and to pay attention to the instructions in the letter. Some people need to fill out a full application, but other OHP members will simply need to complete a brief consent form.
“If you received a letter from us, please take action right away,” says Judy Mohr Peterson, Oregon’s Medicaid Director. “We want to make sure that everyone who is still qualified for the Oregon Health Plan keeps their benefits and that people who no longer qualify know how to get private coverage.”
For the first time, some of the people up for renewal will be able to reapply through the federal insurance marketplace, HealthCare.gov. That change means Oregonians will learn right away if they still qualify for OHP; those that don’t will learn on the spot what their options are for private coverage, including any financial assistance available.
To qualify for the Oregon Health Plan people must meet certain income and residency requirements. For example, a family of four can earn up to $32,900 a year and may qualify for coverage. To maintain coverage, OHP members must update their information each year.
To purchase private coverage that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015 people must enroll by Mon.,Dec. 15, this year. It is worth noting that, only about one in 10 Oregonians who previously signed up for private health care insurance through the state health insurance exchange has re-enrolled through the federal portal, according to the Associated Press.
OHP members needing assistance renewing or applying for coverage, should visit OregonHealthCare.gov online where people can ask questions for you, and direct you to the proper federal or local forms online.
For people who don’t have online access, or otherwise need help filling out an application, there is local assistance available in their community to help. To learn more about how Oregonians can find help, visit OregonHealthCare.gov.
“This year there have been a lot of changes to how people apply and renew health care coverage, but here are the most important things to know: If you get a letter from us take action, and if you need help there is local assistance available,” Peterson adds.
OHP members should always keep their address current to make sure they receive messages about their coverage. Members should call or email changes to OHP Customer Service at 1-800-699-9075 or [email protected]
To learn more about the Oregon Health Plan or renewing OHP benefits, visit OregonHealthCare.gov.