A PHE doesn't typically affect eligibility for health coverage programs. However, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act mandates that any Medicaid agency (Oregon Health Plan, OHP, in Oregon) receiving certain federal funding must offer continuous coverage to all Medicaid enrollees. This means that people who are technically no longer eligible for OHP benefits due to a life change will not be disenrolled until after the continuous coverage provision ends. Certain verification factors can also be relaxed.
Under the 2023 omnibus bill, the federal government uncoupled the continuous coverage provision from the PHE. This means that OHP must begin the redetermination process no later than April 1, 2023, regardless of the status of the PHE. April 1 will mark the beginning of the “unwinding period."
During the unwinding period, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) will work together to redetermine clients' eligibility for state benefits, such as OHP.