Oregon: Healthcare Resources And Health Insurance Options

Oregon residents looking for quality, affordable health care coverage can choose short term health insurance which offers a budget-friendly health care alternative to individuals and families who live in Oregon, can’t afford major medical health insurance or don’t qualify for Medicaid.

Short term health insurance, which is sometimes called short term medical or temporary health insurance, provides benefits for physician visits, in-hospital care, urgent care facility visits and much more—and many times without medical network restrictions. In addition, all of Pivot Health’s short term health insurance plans come with a non-insurance discount prescription drug card, and you also have the option to select short term plans with prescription drug coverage.

You can apply for short term health insurance any time of year, and you’ll know if you are approved for the plan before applying so your time isn’t wasted on coverage that you might not be eligible for. You can then choose a coverage effective date within 24 hours of your online application or up to 60 days in the future.

While some states allow short term policies up to 364 days, Oregon state law limits short term health insurance policies to 90 days. As such, short term health care coverage can be a smart option for Oregon residents who find themselves temporarily uninsured due to circumstances such as divorce, termination from a job with benefits, or turning 26 and aging off of a parent’s health insurance plan. It may also be a health care coverage solution for those who are in an employer waiting period for benefits.

Oregon’s State of Health

Broadly speaking, Oregon tends to be one of the nation’s healthier states. It’s a top-performer in state rankings such as the Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance (11th overall). Oregon also has some of the nation’s lowest uninsured rates (tied at 20th in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2017 analysis of health insurance coverage of the total population).

Disparities exist, however, as highlighted by the 2018 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report. Health outcomes in Oregon differ based not only by county but also by racial and ethnic group. For instance:

  • In the least healthy Oregon county, the number of premature deaths was more than twice that of the healthiest Oregon county (9,100 and 4,100, respectively).
  • 14 percent of white Oregonians reported being in poor or fair health as opposed to 26 percent of Hispanic Oregonians.
  • Uninsured rates range from 7 percent among Oregon’s white residents to 17 percent among its Hispanic residents.

Even so, Oregon’s health disparities are less than most states. Oregon ranked 15th overall in the Commonwealth Fund Scorecard’s Disparity quintile; some of its lowest-ranking factors included the percentage of adults who reported fair/poor health (30% vs 29% nationwide) and the percentage of children without both a medical and dental preventive care visit in the past year (45% vs 38% nationwide). In terms of uninsured population, this report showed Oregon with a rate of 15% uninsured adults ages 19 to 64 (vs 23% nationwide) and a rate of 4% uninsured children ages 0 to 18 (vs 6% nationwide). Eighteen percent of Oregon adults went without care without cost in the past year, as opposed to 23 percent nationwide.

It is possible that health outcomes in Oregon could improve were more of its residents to obtain health insurance coverage, like cost-effective short term medical insurance. Studies show that health coverage is linked to more access to health care, better health and reduced mortality.

Oregon Health Insurance Overview

As mentioned above, Oregon’s uninsured rate is relatively low. More than 94 percent of Oregonians (3.7 million) had health insurance coverage in 2017, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Oregon’s uninsured rates by demographic in 2017 were as follows:

Age: Young adults ages 19 to 34 had the highest uninsured rate (12 percent), while children 18 and under had the lowest uninsured rate (3 percent).

Ethnicity: Hispanic Oregonians had the highest uninsured rate (15 percent), while Asians had the lowest uninsured rate (2 percent).

Gender: Men had a higher uninsured rate (7.3 percent) than women (5 percent).

In terms of cost, Oregon residents saw health insurance premiums increase more than the national average for 2019. However, the state’s rate increases were modest when compared with years past. The average increase for the second-lowest cost silver plan (SLCSP) in Oregon was 7.1 percent from 2018 to 2019, compared with 18.5 percent from 2017 to 2018. Nationally, premiums for the second-lowest cost silver plan decreased 1.5 percent from 2018 to 2019. The lowest-cost premium in Oregon increased 6.9 percent from 2018 to 2019, compared with 14.8 percent from 2017 to 2018. Nationally, premiums for the lowest-cost plan decreased 1 percent.

Looking at the state as a whole, Oregon had more health insurance carriers offering coverage in 2019 than other states. Five health insurance carriers offered individual plans through Oregon’s ACA marketplace (HealthCare.gov), which was higher than the national average of 4 insurers participating per state. Of course, it’s worth noting that not all carriers offered plans in all counties.

Oregon’s Health Care Coverage Challenges

About 1 in 10 Oregon residents experienced a gap in coverage at some point during 2017, according to a report released by the State of Oregon. For the majority of Oregonians, those coverage gaps ranged from 1 to 6 months (50.2%).

Oregon residents cited the following reasons for experiencing a gap in health insurance: job-related, insurance company, cost of coverage, Oregon Health Plan (OHP) related, personal reasons, do not need insurance, and other reasons.

People responsible for obtaining their own health insurance, whether through an individual plan or Medicaid, were the more likely to have a gap in coverage over the previous 12 months than those who had group health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid (i.e., Oregon Health Plan).

The Oregon government believes more people could be insured and found that most people who were uninsured when they conducted their study were eligible for Oregon Health Plan, which is the state’s Medicaid program, or were eligible for a subsidy that would reduce the cost of their private health insurance plan.

  • 9 out of 10 children without health insurance are eligible for OHP or a premium-reduction subsidy through the health insurance marketplace
  • 9 in 10 young adults and 8 in 10 older adults (ages 35 to 64) qualify for OHP or a subsidy

The top three reasons Oregonians provided for not getting covered by OHP were as follows:

  • 44 percent were concerned about high costs
  • 36 percent weren’t eligible, make too much money
  • 21 percent were concerned about quality of care

The State of Oregon estimates that if 80 percent of Oregonians without health care coverage used OHP or subsidies, the number of uninsured would drop from 243,000 to 34,000 and increase the coverage rate to 99 percent.

2019 Health Insurance Plans in Oregon

Seven health insurance carriers offer 2019 individual plans for the state of Oregon, either through the ACA health insurance marketplace or the private market. Not all carriers sell health insurance in all counties.

Health insurance companies that sell ACA-compliant plans in Oregon for 2019, along with their average rate change, are as follows:

ACA health insurance marketplace carriers
• BridgeSpan +4.5%
• Kaiser +9.4%
• Moda +6.3%
• PacificSource -9.6%
• Providence +9.5%

Private market carriers
• Bridge Span +4.5%
• Health Net +10.1%
• Kaiser +9.4%
• Regence 0.0%

Slightly more than half of Oregonians who buy their own health insurance pay full price, according to The Lund Report, which reported that the gap between the most expensive and least expensive plans available to a 40-year-old non-smoker in the Portland area is about $70 in 2019—half of what it was a few years ago.

The final CMS weekly enrollment snapshot for 2019 showed that 148,180 Oregonians signed up for health insurance during the 2019 open enrollment period, which ran from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15, 2018. This number represents a 5 percent drop in enrollment—Oregon’s first drop in enrollment since the Affordable Care Act passed, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Medicaid Enrollment in Oregon

Oregon is among the 32 states that have elected to expand Medicaid under the ACA. People living in states that expanded Medicaid qualify for coverage if their household income is below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

By opting to expand Medicaid, Oregon has helped provide more of its residents with access to health care coverage. As of October 2018, there were 961,833 Oregon residents enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. The state has seen monthly Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Plan) enrollment increased 54 percent from before the ACA took effect until October 2018.

As mentioned before, Oregon calls its Medicaid program Oregon Health Plan (OHP). You may be eligible for OHP if you meet the state’s income and residency requirements or qualify based on age and disability status. Medicaid is available year-round in all states; it is not subject to an open enrollment period.

Your Health Care Coverage Choices

If you are uninsured in Oregon, then Pivot Health’s short term health insurance may provide an affordable alternative to major medical insurance for up to 90 days.

Pivot Health short term plans are a year-round coverage option with the choices and flexibility that pivot to meet your ever-changing health care and budgetary needs.

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