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OHP by the numbers.

Byline: The Register-Guard

IN THE BEGINNING:

200,000 people covered as of February 1994.

$497.1 million in state spending, 1993-95.

13.6 percent of Oregonians lacked health insurance in 1994.

CURRENTLY:

400,000 people covered as of August 2002.

$880.3 million in state spending, 1999-2001 (figures not available for 2001-03 because cuts from 2002 special sessions not yet finalized).

14 percent of Oregonians lacked health insurance in 2002.

HOW IT'S GROWN:

1994: Clinton administration agrees to waive Medicaid rules for Oregon to use those federal dollars to pay for poor people who don't fit federal eligibility categories, and to use a prioritized list to restrict coverage of some services. By 1997, nearly 30 percent of OHP enrollees are from this non-Medicaid population.

1997: Family Health Insurance Assistance Program, or FHIAP, is created. It helps lower-income workers buy health insurance through their employers or directly from insurance companies. It was capped to serve 4,000 Oregonians a year, with a 20,000-person waiting list.

1998: Federal creation of Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which adds children above the poverty line and provides a more generous federal match than what Medicaid offers. This allows Oregon to serve nearly 90,000 children in the ensuing years.

2002: Federal government in October approved waiver to create OHP2. It would add 60,000 people to the plan by gaining federal matching funds for FHIAP and leveraging more CHIP dollars. It also creates a second tier of more austere benefits called OHP Standard for about 110,000 people, primarily childless adults who aren't elderly or disabled. The reduced benefits are to take effect in February, but the expansion has been delayed until July and may be put on hold indefinitely.

HOW IT'S SHRINKING:

The budget shortfall triggered by the economic recession forced the Legislature and state officials to reduce the plan.

February:

For the 110,000 people on OHP Standard, vision coverage will be eliminated, dental benefits reduced, and co-payments will be mandatory.

Alcohol and drug treatment is reduced for non-Medicaid enrollees.

March:

For OHP Standard enrollees, remaining dental benefits are eliminated, along with coverage for medical supplies such as oxygen, outpatient chemical dependency and mental health services.

If Measure 28 fails Tuesday:

The medically needy program for 8,700 elderly and disabled people will be eliminated.

OHP Standard enrollees will lose prescription drug benefits.

Residential treatment for alcohol and drug addiction will be reduced for 104 people.
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Title Annotation:Health
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jan 26, 2003
Words:405
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