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News Release
Oregon Health Authority launches survey on insurance coverage and health care access - 03/08/19

March 8, 2019

Contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@state.or.us

Oregon Health Authority launches survey on insurance coverage and health care access

The Oregon Health Authority is asking Oregonians to participate in the 2019 Oregon Health Insurance Survey (OHIS). Since 2011 the biennial survey has provided important information on health insurance coverage, access to care, and the cost of health care for Oregonians. OHA aims to reach more than 8,000 families through the survey between February and June.

"Oregon has dramatically reduced the uninsured rate, but too many people still remain uninsured, underinsured, and confused about their coverage options," said Patrick Allen, Director of the Oregon Health Authority. "This survey helps us better understand the gaps in health coverage and where we need to focus our attention to achieve better health, better care and lower costs for all Oregonians."

Studies have shown health coverage is linked to more access to health care, better health and reduced mortality. When individuals and families lack health coverage, they can be exposed to medical debt and bankruptcy, forced to rely on hospital emergency departments for health care, and unable to obtain regular treatment for chronic conditions and serious illness (such as cancer).

In 2017 Oregon’s uninsured rate stood at 6 percent, and about one in 10 Oregonians experienced a gap in coverage during the year. More than eight in 10 children and adults under age 65 who lacked coverage were eligible for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) or financial assistance to reduce premium costs. Hispanic Oregonians constituted the racial/ethnic group with the highest rate of uninsurance (15 percent). Asians had the lowest percentage of uninsured (2 percent).

There are about 243,000 uninsured people in Oregon. If 80 percent of them made use of available OHP or marketplace subsidies to gain health insurance coverage, the number of Oregonians who are uninsured would drop to 34,000.

The information provided by Oregon families through the OHIS helps communities and stakeholders understand changes in the health care system and their impact on individuals and families. Survey results will be used to inform policymakers and programs that help reduce disparities in health care coverage, access and cost. The survey is conducted in English and Spanish.

Frequently asked questions about the 2019 OHIS survey can be found on OHA’s website:

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