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Oregon State Program helps pay for health insurance for low income residents

More than 600,000 Oregonians are without health insurance. Uninsured for a serious illness or injury can have catastrophic financial consequences. Several studies have estimated that over fifty percent of all personal bankruptcies are due to medical reasons. The state of Oregon is working to reduce the number of uninsured citizens by paying up to 95 percent of the cost of health insurance for individuals and families.Established by the legislature in 1997 and initially financed by taxes on snuff, Family Health Insurance Assistance Program to assist approximately 18,000 low-income people pay for health insurance.Income eligibility is based on 185 percent of federal poverty level. For a person qualifies for assistance from their income can not exceed $ 1,511 per month. A qualifying family of four with an income of $ 3084 or less a month.FHIAP customers classified into two groups for funding: Individual-who have no access to health insurance at work and in groups – those whose employers do not offer health insurance, but the employee can not pay the premiums.To be eligible for a FHIAP subsidy, applicants must have been uninsured for six months, a U.S. citizen living in Oregon, that savings and investments of less than $ 10,000 and not eligible for Medicare. In determining the savings and investment vehicles FHIAP IRA or not owner-occupied homes. The exceptions to the rule of six months are done when the applicant is out of the Oregon Health Plan or have been in insurance plan from your employer for less than 90 days.After be accepted by FHIAP, the plan referred to in individual choosing a healthcare provider in the state approved list. Options include: Kaiser Permanente, ODS, Pacific Source, BlueCross / BlueShield and several others. For people with preexisting conditions can ensure FHIAP coverage through the Health Insurance Fund of Oregon. Insurance providers to bill FHIAP bills that turn the individual for his share of the premium. For a premium of $ 500 months subsidized by 95 percent would pay $ 475 FHIAP. Like any insurance policy FHIAP recipients are responsible for deductibles and copayments. Knowing that people are faced with a bewildering array of options in choosing a health care provider FHIAP establish a toll-free number where applicants can receive expert advice on the best insurance policy to meet not plan needs.Under insurance group, the members signing with your employer health plan and the premium is obtained directly from their wages. FHIAP reimburses members within four days of receiving a copy of your stub.Once covered pay, members are required to reapply every 12 months. During the period of 12 months FHIAP coverage does not require notification of any increase in income or assets.According policy and legislative liaison Kelley FHIAP Harms, expanded program enrollment of 3,400 in 2000 to the present 18,000 in 2005. Damage attributed the increase in the number of deck for aggressive marketing and the infusion of federal funds since 2002. Corresponding Federal funds account for 72 percent of FHIAP budget, with the state of Oregon that make up the remaining 28 percent.Currently no waiting list for those who can get insurance through their employer or the employer your spouse. FHIAP is advising individual applicants on the waiting list for coverage could be up to 12 months. Damage urges people who need insurance coverage is not intimidated by the possibility of a waiting period of twelve months and apply now. "Things change, people leave the program, and I could get more funds." She said

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