Voters in the Beaver State are getting ready to vote on a Medicaid funding tax referendum, Measure 101, Jan. 23.
If voters approve Measure 101, then Oregon will move forward with plans to impose the 1.5% assessment on Oregon health insurers’ premiums, and a 0.7% assessment on the net revenue of some Oregon hospitals.
Oregon hopes to raise $210 million to $320 million of its own Medicaid funding with the assessment, and use that revenue to attract $630 million to $960 million in federal Medicaid matching funds, according to a special election pamphlet prepared by the Oregon secretary of state’s office.
If the measure fails, and state lawmakers are unable or unwilling to find alternative funding, then Oregon’s Medicaid program could lose as much as $1.3 billion in total funding for the period from 20017 through 2019. About 1 million of Oregon’s 4.1 million residents have Medicaid coverage.
Oregon’s Medicaid program used a total of about $8.4 billion in federal and state funding in fiscal year 2016, according to analysts at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
The Affordable Care Act helps states pay to open their Medicaid programs to low-income childless adults with income near the federal poverty level. Oregon officials have been planning to use the new assessment on health plans and hospitals to pay its share of the Medicaid expansion bills.
Oregon state lawmakers have already approved the assessment program.