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News Releases
Learn Medicare basics in a free, local workshop - 04/24/18

(Salem) – Oregon’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance program (SHIBA) will be in Lake County next month to hold a “Medicare 101” workshop. A Medicare expert will explain:

  • The basics of Medicare benefits
  • How to enroll and how much Medicare costs 
  • Types of financial help available
  • Where Medicare recipients can go for help

The workshop will be held Wednesday, May 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Lake County Senior Citizens Association, 11 North G St., Lakeview.

Anyone is welcome to attend, particularly people interested in enrolling in Medicare, health care professionals who work with Medicare recipients, and nonprofit staff members who serve retirees or people with disabilities. Call 503-947-7088 or email miranda.s.mathae@oregon.gov to attend.

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Oregon SHIBA is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.
 

New Medicare cards are coming: what beneficiaries need to know - 04/24/18

(Salem) – Oregonians with Medicare coverage will be issued a new card from the federal government by the end of June. Each person’s new card will have a unique Medicare number, instead of a Social Security number, to prevent fraud and identity theft. Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will automatically mail the new cards, at no cost, to each beneficiary's address on file with Social Security. 

Here’s what Oregonians on Medicare can expect, and what they should know:
•    Make sure Social Security has your current address. You can update your address online by signing in to or creating a “my Social Security” account at ssa.gov. 
•    Don’t worry if you get your new card before or after friends or family members here in Oregon or in other states. The cards are being sent on a variety of dates to prevent mail theft.
•    When your new Medicare card arrives, destroy the old one. Do it in a secure manner, such as shredding it.
•    Doctors, other health care providers, and plans approved by Medicare know that Medicare is replacing the old cards. They should be ready to accept your new card when you need care.
•    Even people with a Medicare plan through a private insurance company, also known as a Medicare Advantage plan, will get a new Medicare card from the federal government. Keep it in a safe place, but continue to use the member card your insurance company sent you. 
•    Beware of people contacting you about your new Medicare card and asking you for your Medicare number, personal information, or to pay a fee for your new card. Protect your Medicare number like you treat your Social Security or credit card numbers. Remember, Medicare will never contact you uninvited to ask for your personal information.

More information is available at go.medicare.gov/newcard. Oregonians also can contact the state’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program with questions. SHIBA’s phone number is 1-800-722-4134 (toll-free), and the line is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Oregon SHIBA is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Ceremony will honor fallen Oregon workers April 27 - 04/24/18

(Salem) – It’s a day to remember those who died on the job. It’s a day to grieve with families, friends, and communities. It’s a day to renew our responsibility to create and maintain safe and healthy workplaces. Oregon workers who died on the job will be honored with a ceremony Friday, April 27, at noon in Salem. The state’s Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) and the Oregon AFL-CIO invite all Oregonians to attend the Workers Memorial Day observance.

The event will take place at the Fallen Workers Memorial outside the Labor and Industries Building, 350 Winter St. NE, on the Capitol Mall. The memorial service, coordinated by the Oregon AFL-CIO, will feature remarks from State Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon and Elana Pirtle-Guiney, workforce and labor policy advisor to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

The ceremony will include the reading of the names of Oregon workers who died on the job in 2017.

“We must continually renew our efforts to seek stronger safety and health protection and improve standards and enforcement so that we can prevent tragedies like these in the future,” said Gov. Brown.

“Oregon’s workers make significant sacrifices every day to serve their communities and their state,” Alonso Leon said. “I am honored to be reading the names of our fallen workers to recognize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us all. As a legislator, I am committed to serving Oregonians and their families to ensure that they are safe and healthy in the workplace.”

Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood and Oregon AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Barbara Byrd will also be among the event speakers.

Oregon workplaces are safer today than in previous decades. Yet, there are still far too many preventable on-the-job deaths each year.

“On Workers Memorial Day, we mourn fallen workers and members of the armed services who died in the line of work and duty,” said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain. “Through that mourning, we will reinvigorate our commitment to fight as hard as we can for the living by making sure Oregon's workers are getting the right gear, the right training, and the right precautions to do their jobs as safely as possible.”

Through a partnership of labor, business, and government working together to bolster on-the-job safety and health, Oregon’s fatality and injury and illness rates have steadily declined for decades.

Nevertheless, there is room for improvement.

“Each name that will be read during Workers Memorial Day tells a story of dreams lost, of family, friends, and co-workers grieving the untimely death of a friend or loved one,” Wood said. “And each story is a reminder that we must strengthen our efforts to fully confront the risks of death in our workplaces, and to identify and eliminate their causes.”

The annual Workers Memorial Day serves as a nationwide day of remembrance. It recognizes the thousands of U.S. workers who die each year on the job and the more than 1 million people in the U.S. who are injured each year at work. The observance is traditionally held on April 28 because Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act on that date in 1970.

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

The Oregon AFL-CIO is the statewide federation of affiliated unions, representing over 300,000 working Oregonians.  Learn more at www.oraflcio.org.

 

Are you ready to retire on your terms? - 04/11/18

(Salem) – It’s National Retirement Planning week, and the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation asks, are you ready to retire on your terms?

 

According to a recent study, only 25 percent of baby boomers expect to receive lifetime retirement income from a pension, yet 85 percent acknowledge that it is important to have an income source other than Social Security.

 

“No matter what stage of life you are at, it takes a comprehensive plan to retire on your terms,” said Andrew Stolfi, division administrator. “We invite Oregonians to use this week to focus on key retirement planning steps, such as starting early, creating a budget, considering a financial planner, and avoiding fraud.”

 

This week-long effort to focus on retirement planning aligns with the Gov. Kate Brown’s proclamation declaring April 2018 as Financial Literacy Month.

 

Oregonians who are curious about where to start can visit http://dfr.oregon.gov/gethelp/manage-finances/Pages/index.aspx for information ranging from debt management and creating a budget to understanding credit and tips for investing.

 

For retirement planning information based on your particular life stage visit, https://www.retireonyourterms.org/your-plan

 

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About Oregon DFR:

The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and http://dfr.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx.

 

Learn health insurance basics in a free, local workshop - 04/10/18

(Salem) – The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will sponsor “Building Blocks of Health Insurance,” a free 90-minute workshop on understanding health insurance, next month in The Dalles.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, at the The Dalles-Wasco County Public Library, 722 Court St.

Attendees will receive information to help them be confident health coverage consumers. An experienced health-insurance educator from the Marketplace will present on:
•    Types of health insurance, including Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan, and individual and family plans
•    Summary of Benefits documents
•    Explanation of Benefits letters
•    Eligibility for financial assistance

To attend, register in advance by calling 855-268-3767 (toll-free) or emailing info.marketplace@oregon.gov.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Hillsboro insurance agent pleads guilty to illegal sale of driving permits - 04/05/18

Salem – The Division of Financial Regulation is reminding consumers to be cautious of fraud after a recent felony theft case involving a Hillsboro insurance agent. A joint investigation between the Hillsboro Police Department and the division revealed that the agent, Skip Molen, illegally sold international driving permits out of his office.

 

Molen illegally sold the permits as government-issued driver licenses to more than 200 people for $250 each.

 

The permits are typically sold in the U.S. for $25 by two authorized distributors – the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance. They are used to translate information from a government-issued driver license while driving in other countries. The permits are not valid for use in the issuing country.

 

The investigation into the sale of the permits was initiated by Hillsboro Police when a driver presented a permit to an officer during a traffic stop. The driver advised the officer he had purchased the permit from Molen’s agency. 

 

Molen pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft and he was sentenced to 30 days in jail and probation. The division revoked Molen’s insurance license.

 

“As the state regulator we work hard to investigate and penalize fraudulent professionals, said Andrew Stolfi, Oregon insurance commissioner. “We encourage Oregonians to call our advocates any time they have a concern with any of their financial products and services, or the professionals and businesses that provide them.”

 

The best way to avoid a scam is to ask a lot of relevant questions and contact our advocacy team for help. Our advocates can be reached at 888-877-4894 (toll-free), by email cp.ins@oregon.gov, or by visiting http://dfr.oregon.gov/gethelp/protect-finances/Pages/index.aspx.

 

To view the final order, go to http://dfr.oregon.gov/AdminOrders/enf-orders-2018/Molen%20Final%20Order%20SSIG.pdf.

 

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About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and http://dfr.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx.

Coverage costs dropped on average in 2018 for Oregonians who got financial help at HealthCare.gov - 04/04/18

(Salem) – New data show that Oregonians who enrolled in 2018 insurance at HealthCare.gov and qualified for subsidies have an average net premium of $138 per month. That average is down from last year, when it was $147, and shows significant savings compared to the average full-price premium of more than $500 per month.

A large share of Oregonians using HealthCare.gov qualify for the subsidies that help pay for coverage. In 2018, the number is 115,889 people, or more than 74 percent of HealthCare.gov enrollees from our state. A total of 156,105 Oregonians have plans through HealthCare.gov.

“These numbers underscore just how important it is to check if you are eligible for financial assistance when you shop for coverage at HealthCare.gov. The savings can be significant,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace.

People can get 2018 health plans through HealthCare.gov now only if they lose other coverage or experience a major life change, such as getting married. Open enrollment for 2019 coverage, when almost anyone can enroll, will be Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2018.

Qualifying for help paying for coverage and how much you can receive depends mostly on your household income and the full-price premium for a midrange plan in your area, for your age. Average full-price premium, average subsidy, and number of people enrolled vary across the state.

For example, the 2018 Oregon data show:

  • Lake County has the smallest average premium after subsidy, among those who qualify, $101
  • Columbia County has the largest average premium after subsidy, among those who qualify, $174
  • Multnomah County has the largest number of people enrolled with a subsidy, 26,247
  • Union County has the largest percentage of enrollees qualifying for a subsidy, 91 percent
  • Morrow County has the smallest number of people enrolled with a subsidy, 196
  • Hood River County has the smallest percentage of people enrolled qualifying for a subsidy, 66 percent

Cameron Smith, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, notes a major split in coverage affordability, beyond the geographic variation.

“There’s a real tale of two categories here. People without financial assistance face rising premiums, and those who qualify for help are largely insulated from the hikes, or even enjoying a price drop,” Smith said. “The HealthCare.gov subsidies make a difference if you can get them. At the same time, we are working to stabilize premiums for everyone. One approach, a reinsurance program that helps moderate the increases that high claims can trigger, is already under way.”

The HealthCare.gov enrollment data were released this week by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The numbers cover 2018 health plans selected by people using HealthCare.gov during open enrollment – Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2017 – whether or not the consumer has paid the first month’s premium for the coverage chosen.

Learn health insurance basics in a free, local workshop - 04/03/18

(Salem) – The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will sponsor “Building Blocks of Health Insurance,” a free 90-minute workshop on understanding health insurance, this month in Seaside.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, in the community room at the Seaside Public Library, 1131 Broadway.

Attendees will receive information to help them be confident health coverage consumers. An experienced health-insurance educator from the Marketplace will present on:
• Types of health insurance, including Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan, and individual and family plans
• Summary of Benefits documents
• Explanation of Benefits letters
• Eligibility for financial assistance

To attend, register in advance by calling 855-268-3767 (toll-free) or emailing ketplace@oregon.gov">info.marketplace@oregon.gov.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Learn health insurance basics in a free, local workshop - 04/03/18

(Salem) – The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will sponsor “Building Blocks of Health Insurance,” a free 90-minute workshop on understanding health insurance, this month in Lincoln City.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, at the Driftwood Public Library, 801 SW Highway 101 in Lincoln City.

Attendees will receive information to help them be confident health coverage consumers. An experienced health-insurance educator from the Marketplace will present on:
• Types of health insurance, including Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan, and individual and family plans
• Summary of Benefits documents
• Explanation of Benefits letters
• Eligibility for financial assistance

To attend, register in advance by calling 855-268-3767 (toll-free) or emailing ketplace@oregon.gov">info.marketplace@oregon.gov.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Learn health insurance basics in a free, local workshop - 04/03/18

(Salem) – The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will sponsor “Building Blocks of Health Insurance,” a free 90-minute workshop on understanding health insurance, this month in McMinnville.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, in the Carnegie Room at the McMinnville Public Library, 225 NW Adams St.

Attendees will receive information to help them be confident health coverage consumers. An experienced health-insurance educator from the Marketplace will present on:
• Types of health insurance, including Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan, and individual and family plans
• Summary of Benefits documents
• Explanation of Benefits letters
• Eligibility for financial assistance

To attend, register in advance by calling 855-268-3767 (toll-free) or emailing ketplace@oregon.gov">info.marketplace@oregon.gov.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

 

Learn health insurance basics in a free, local workshop - 04/03/18

(Salem) – The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will sponsor "Building Blocks of Health Insurance," a free 90-minute workshop on understanding health insurance, this month in Salem.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, at Salem Health’s Community Education Center, 939 Oak Street S.E.

Attendees will receive information to help them be confident health coverage consumers. An experienced health-insurance educator from the Marketplace will present on:

  • Eligibility for financial assistance
  • Explanation of Benefits letters
  • Summary of Benefits documents
  • Types of health insurance, including Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan, and individual and family plans

To attend, register in advance by calling 855-268-3767 (toll-free) or emailing ketplace@oregon.gov">info.marketplace@oregon.gov.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

 

Learn health insurance basics in a free, local workshop - 04/03/18

(Salem) – The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will sponsor "Building Blocks of Health Insurance," a free 90-minute workshop on understanding health insurance, this month in Scappoose.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, at the Scappoose Public Library, 52469 SE 2nd Street.

Attendees will receive information to help them be confident health coverage consumers. An experienced health-insurance educator from the Marketplace will present on:

  • Eligibility for financial assistance
  • Explanation of Benefits letters
  • Summary of Benefits documents
  • Types of health insurance, including Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan, and individual and family plans

To attend, register in advance by calling 855-268-3767 (toll-free) or emailing ketplace@oregon.gov">info.marketplace@oregon.gov.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Pendleton to host Blue Mountain safety conference - 04/03/18

(Salem) – A two-day event in Pendleton will offer employers and workers a variety of opportunities to improve on-the-job safety and health. Topics covered include safety committees, safety leadership, hazard identification and analysis, and hearing conservation.   

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, is one of several partners presenting the May 21-22 Blue Mountain Occupational Safety and Health Conference at the Pendleton Convention Center.

On Tuesday, May 22, keynote speaker Matt Pomerinke will present “Accidents are Forever.” Pomerinke was 21 and working in a lumber mill when his arm was caught in an unguarded conveyor drive chain and amputated just below the elbow. Now, the 39-year-old papermaker, who speaks at businesses, schools, and conferences, shares his story so it doesn’t become yours.

Other conference topics include:

  • Fall protection options for general industry
  • Fatigue at work: Causes, impacts, and solutions
  • Keep your head in the game: The role of mindfulness in safety
  • Hazardous energy control
  • Forklift safety

Conference registration for Tuesday, May 22 is $75, which includes lunch. The event will include a Forklift Round-Up on Monday, May 21, which spectators are welcome to enjoy. Additionally, the conference features a no-cost workshop on driver awareness and prevention of distracted driving during the afternoon of May 21. For more information about the two-day event or to register, go to http://safetyseries.cvent.com/blue18

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

 

 

Free tax season tips event to be held in Tigard - 03/27/18

An expert panel will provide a free tax forum on Tuesday, April 3, at the Tigard High School library from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Titled "Tax Season Scams and Reality," the public event will cover new tax laws, important tips to remember when filing, the new W-2, and how to avoid tax season scams.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services and Financial Beginnings Oregon are hosting the event. OnPoint Community Credit Union is sponsoring the event.

Details:
What -- Tax Season Scams and Reality
When -- Tuesday, April 3, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Where -- Tigard High School library (9000 SW Durham Road)

The event is open to the public. Child care and light refreshments will be provided.

If you are interested in attending, register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tax-season-scams-and-reality-tickets-43939477159?aff=efbeventtix.


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About DCBS: The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov.


About Oregon DFR:
The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and http://dfr.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx.

UPDATED: Learn Medicare basics in a free, local workshop - 03/26/18

[This updated release corrects address of Klamath Basin Senior Center]

(Salem) -- Oregon's Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance program (SHIBA) will be in Klamath Falls next month to hold a "Medicare 101" workshop. A Medicare expert will explain:

*The basics of Medicare benefits
*How to enroll and how much Medicare costs
*Types of financial help available
*Where Medicare recipients can go for help

The workshop will be held Wednesday, April 11, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Klamath Basin Senior Center, 2045 Arthur St., Klamath Falls.

Anyone is welcome to attend, particularly people interested in enrolling in Medicare, health care professionals who work with Medicare recipients, and nonprofit staff members who serve retirees or people with disabilities. Call 503-947-7088 or email miranda.s.mathae@oregon.gov to attend.

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Oregon SHIBA is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Learn health insurance basics in a free, local workshop - 03/26/18

(Salem) -- The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will sponsor "Building Blocks of Health Insurance," a free two-hour workshop on understanding health insurance, in April in Albany.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, at the Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Ave.

Attendees will receive information to help them be confident health coverage consumers. An experienced health-insurance educator from the Marketplace will present on:

*Types of health insurance, including Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan, and individual and family plans
*Summary of Benefits documents
*Explanation of Benefits letters
*Eligibility for financial assistance

To attend, register in advance by calling 855-268-3767 (toll-free) or emailing info.marketplace@oregon.gov.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.