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Thousands in Rogue Valley face Oregon Health Plan changes

More than 10,000 people on the Oregon Health Plan in Jackson and Josephine counties will start getting postcards this week alerting them to a switch in their plan.

The mailings were triggered after the state rejected PrimaryHealth’s application to continue as a coordinated care organization.

CCOs help Oregon Health Plan clients use their physical, mental and dental health insurance benefits.

Although PrimaryHealth scored best among CCOs on getting quality care for its clients, the state worried the organization wasn’t on track to remain financially solvent.

In Jackson County, 1,083 patients will be moved to either AllCare Health or Jackson Care Connect — two CCOs that already have the lion’s share of Oregon Health Plant clients in the county.

The Oregon Health Authority will automatically match patients to either AllCare or Jackson Care Connect based on which pick makes it easier for patients to keep seeing their regular doctors, state officials said.

The state will look at the physical and mental health providers patients visited in the past two years to make the best match, officials said.

However, patients don’t have to stick to the matches automatically made for them.

Jackson County residents will have two chances to make a different choice — from Oct. 16 to Nov. 17, and again from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2020, according to Oregon Health Authority spokesperson Allyson Hagen.

The postcards going out this week will alert people to watch for a letter in October that will provide more information about choices in their area.

The letters will explain how to get help through the process and will also include a guide to help clients compare plans, state officials said.

“In some areas of Oregon, CCO plan choices are changing next year — and we want members to know there are resources they can access to get the help and information they need to pick the best plan for themselves and their families,” said Oregon Health Authority Medicaid Director Lori Coyner.

Clients who don’t want to stick with the state match can switch CCOs online, over the phone with a special call center set up to help members through the process, or with the help of a local community partner, Hagen said.

In Josephine County, 9,010 clients of PrimaryHealth will be transitioned to AllCare Jan. 1, 2020, she said.

PrimaryHealth clients in Jackson County will also transition to a new CCO at the beginning of the year, Hagen said.

Statewide, 350,000 Oregon Health Plan patients will face choices about their CCO plans this fall, state officials said.

Of the 1 million Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan, nearly 87% are enrolled with CCOs that manage their benefits, officials said.

In Jackson County, about one in four residents are on the Oregon Health Plan, while about one in three Josephine County residents receive the benefits.

Oregon was one of the states that expanded eligibility and added more children and adults to government-subsidized health insurance after passage of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

Thousands of Oregon Health Plan patients in Jackson and Josephine counties are being notified of plan changes. File photo by Heidi de Marco, Kaiser Health News.