Get health care coverage in a SNAP!

by Virginia Camberos

January brings cold nights, morning fog, and hard times for a lot of hard working families trying to make ends meet in Jackson County. Fortunately, life just got a little easier for Oregonians who get a little extra help from our state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and we want to make sure you know about it.

Did you know that the majority of folks who qualify for SNAP also qualify for the Oregon Health Plan? If you’re an uninsured SNAP participant and you qualify for the Oregon Health Plan, you should have already gotten a letter in the mail with a short two-page form to give your consent. It’s not too late to enroll, even if you have lost the letter.

Over one hundred thousand Oregonians have already filled out their form, and as of January 1, they now have access to prescription drugs, checkups, emergencies and hospital visits – they’re all covered. That means a truly healthier new year for thousands of Jackson County residents – especially those who have never had access to healthcare before.

It can be tough for folks to pay medical bills out of pocket. Unexpected medical bills can drive hard working families into debt. That’s why it’s more important now than ever to make sure you and your family gets health insurance so that you can get the care you need, when you need it, without breaking the bank.

If you are on SNAP and think you are eligible for Oregon Health Plan, but lost your letter or didn’t receive one, call 1-800-699-9075 – there are people who can help in both English and Spanish. There’s no cost to join, and you can’t be turned away for having a pre-existing condition so make sure you sign up.

Even if you don’t receive assistance from the SNAP program, you can still apply to see if you qualify for free or low-cost health coverage through Cover Oregon, our state’s new health care exchange. Financial assistance is available to many families earning too much to qualify for the Oregon Health Plan, such as tax credits to help offset the cost of buying insurance. And the best part is that you don’t have to figure it out alone. We are here to provide assistance and answer your questions. Call our office at 541-772-4029 to make an appointment for free assistance applying for health coverage.

Virginia Camberos is regional organizer and Michelle Glass is outreach director for Rogue Valley Oregon Action, an advocacy group on economic issues affecting working people.