Oregon holds lottery – not for millions, but for health care coverage

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From the Case Center for Reducing Health Disparities blog, for the first time in four years, there are openings in the Oregon Health Plan Standard. The state program covers the basics including medical services, medications, and limited dental and vision services. OHP Standard is offered at little or no cost to very low income residents over age 19 who are not eligible for other coverage. While the state acknowledges a great need, resources have made only a few thousand slots available. The state will randomly draw names every month until capacity is reached again. At its peak, OHP covered 132,000 Oregonians, but due to budget deficits enrollment was closed in 2004.
An LA Times story on Monday reports that 91,675 Oregonians signed up for the lottery that will offer health insurance to only a few thousand.

The lesson for Connecticut is to ensure we don’t make big promises we can’t keep. It is critical to make sure that Charter Oak is sustainable.
Ellen Andrews