In March 2022, the Oregon legislature passed HB 4035, which authorizes the development of a “Bridge Plan.” This bill helps support continued coverage for people at risk of losing it at the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. This plan lays an important foundation for policies that would serve many people struggling to access affordable coverage in Oregon.
On July 12th, USofCare provided written public comment for a meeting of the Bridge Plan Task Force created under HB 4035 that is tasked with designing the plan — including assessing the market impacts, and the plan’s benefits, costs, and reimbursement rates. We recommended that the Task Force continue to look for ways to improve affordability for all Oregonians when designing the Bridge Plan, including simultaneously pursuing a 1331 Basic Health Plan and a 1332 State Innovation Waiver.
Together, these will help address various factors that may impact the marketplace, including premiums, the amount of advanced premium tax credits that the state will receive, and pass-through funding for the state to support continued affordability initiatives. USofCare also recommended that the Bridge Plan provide enrollees with comprehensive benefits and eliminate premium and cost-sharing requirements.
We continue to work with partners in Oregon to support a successful Bridge Plan that is designed with the flexibility to allow for the future development of a public health insurance option to help even more Oregonians afford health care in the future.