With $1.1 billion from Medicaid, programmes will be able to help people who are homeless, don’t have enough food to eat, or don’t have access to health care for children. PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon will be the first state in the country to try a new way of doing Medicaid.
They will do this by using $1.1 billion in federal money to help with things like homelessness, food insecurity, and health care for kids. At a press conference on Wednesday morning, Patrick Allen, who is the director of the Oregon Health Authority, said that these are some of the main reasons why people aren’t healthy.
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“Under this agreement, Oregon will be the first state to be able to use federal Medicaid money to pay for medically necessary health-related services, like rent assistance, that have to do with housing,” Allen said. Children will also be able to get health care.
“Under this waiver, we will continue to cover all Oregon children under the age of six who are on the Oregon Health Plan,” Allen said. “That means there will be fewer breaks in a child’s health coverage and care when they are young.”
The system will also cover health care for kids with special needs until they are 26 years old. Oregon will be the first state to help people deal with the effects of extreme heat and wildfires through Medicaid. People on the Oregon Health Plan who are medically vulnerable will be able to get air conditioners, air filters, and shelter directly covered by Medicaid.
Sarah Sullivan runs Gorge Grown Food Network as its leader. The group helps a lot of families by giving them fresh fruits and vegetables. She says that people will have a lot more access to care with the new Medicaid programmes.
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“We have been unable to help as many people as we would like because we don’t have enough money and it’s hard to get people into the programme,” Sullivan said. “That’s why this medical waiver to make it easier for people to get healthy food is so useful.”
Allen said that most of these programmes won’t begin until 2024 because the pandemic is still a public health emergency. That means that people are still in school. These new programmes will begin when the public health emergency is over.
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