Proposed Universal Healthcare for all Oregon Residents: task force created but will it become a law?
The Task Force on Universal Health Care, established by Senate Bill 770, was charged with recommending a universal health care system that offers equitable, affordable, comprehensive, high quality, publicly funded health care to all Oregon residents. This plan would be publicly funded.
The Universal Health Plan would not require patients to pay when getting care. So, there would be no co-pays or deductibles. Instead, people would pay new taxes based on their ability to pay. Under the Plan, medical debt for covered services would no longer exist. This is because all covered services would be fully paid by the Plan.
The Plan would pay providers directly. The rates of pay would be set by region to account for different health care needs and costs in different parts of the state. Insurers would have a more limited role than in the current system. Insurers would be able to offer extra insurance to cover benefits or services not offered by the Universal Health Plan. This could include certain prescription drugs or long-term care.
The Universal Health Plan would separate health insurance from employment. This means that employers would no longer need to provide health benefits. All employers would contribute to the health of all Oregon residents by paying a progressive payroll tax.
Conditions in people’s lives—including housing, education, job opportunities, nutrition, and factors such as racism, discrimination, and violence—affect health outcomes. These conditions are called social determinants of health (SDOH).
The Plan would seek, whenever possible, to address these conditions.
Households with income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) would not pay income tax for health care expenses. In 2022, a family of four that earns $55,500 would be at 200% of the FPL.
The Universal Health Plan would transform the way that people in Oregon get health care. Here are some of biggest changes.
- Every Oregon resident is eligible.
- No premiums, deductibles, or co-pays
- Contribute based on how much you make.
- See any participating provider.
- Funding for equitable, high-quality health care.
- Everyone gets comprehensive health benefits
- Better access to behavioral and alternative care.
- Dental coverage for all Oregonians.
- Insurance does not depend on employment.
- Transparent public board focused on equity and health
Health Insurance Open Enrollment is here
Now through January 15, 2023, you have the opportunity to enroll into or change your current individual plan. Changes made by December 15th are effective January 1, 2023 and changes made by January 15th are effective on February 1, 2023.
That status of Senate Bill 770 is something I will follow closely. When there is new information, I will let readers know here in the BRG. Thanks for reading!
Questions? Contact me! Christopher Levesque with Insurance Partners NW has been helping individuals and families with their health care needs since 2003. To set up an appointment, call (503) 372-5621 or visit www.insurancepartnersnw.com