In March 2022, the Oregon legislature passed HB 4035, which authorizes the development of a “Bridge Plan” to support continuity of coverage for people at risk of losing coverage at the end of the COVID Public Health Emergency. This Bridge Plan lays an important foundation for policies that would serve many lower-income Oregonians who struggle to access affordable coverage. Additionally, the Bridge Plan Task Force (BPTF) is charged with developing the Plan’s framework, identifying a federal funding pathway, and recommending how to mitigate any effects to people already enrolled in Marketplace coverage.
On November 15, United States of Care (USofCare) again submitted comments to the BPTF and, following affordability concerns raised by USofCare, highlighted the BPTF’s consideration of an innovative “gold benchmark” solution to address cost and encouraged continued engagement with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to address outstanding affordability and pass-through funding concerns. USofCare also reiterated the importance of establishing a Bridge Plan with no cost-sharing for people enrolled; should the BPTF ultimately decide to introduce premiums or cost-sharing, USofCare stressed that such mechanisms should be adjusted based on income and a grace period be introduced in the event of non-payment of premiums.
We continue to work with partners on the ground in Oregon to support a successful Bridge Plan that is designed with flexibility to allow for future coverage expansion options to help even more Oregonians afford health care in the future.