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Thousands Of Jackson County Medicaid Enrollees Will Be Assigned New Health Plans Next Year

Bradley W. Parks
The Barbara Roberts Human Services Building, the location of the Oregon Health Authority.

Around 10,000 people in Jackson County with low-income Medicaid health insurance will be switched to a different health plan in the new year so that they can continue seeing their doctors.

The change will affect people who are on AllCare, one of Oregon’s 15 Coordinated Care Organizations (CCO) – networks that coordinate medical care for patients on the Oregon Health Plan, also known as Medicaid.

The thousands of Medicaid recipients will be reassigned from AllCare to another Southern Oregon CCO after network provider PrimeCare discontinued their contract with AllCare.

“Given the choice, our primary care physicians said they’d rather work with Jackson Care Connect than AllCare, so the contract was amended to reflect that,” says Michael Bond, president and CEO of PrimeCare.

Approximately 10,000 AllCare patients will be reassigned to another health plan, Jackson Care Connect, starting January 1, 2020.

According to Oregon Health Authority spokesman Robb Cowie, the switch will allow patients to keep seeing the same primary care doctors.

“Making sure that members continue to have access to the doctors and other providers that they’ve been seeing is our top priority,” Cowie says. “We want to make sure that there are minimal disruptions in care.”

The January 1 change corresponds with the time when the Oregon Health Authority will renew contracts with the state’s 15 CCOs. That program was created in 2012 as a way to reduce costs for the state’s Medicaid program.

Oregon’s CCO program provides a broader range of services than traditional Medicaid health insurance, including investments in factors that contribute to an individual’s health such as supportive housing and nutrition programs.  

AllCare health plans will remain in Jackson County, according to Vice President of Health Policy Josh Balloch. He says Oregon Health Plan members can still request their services from AllCare.

“People vote with their feet,” Balloch says. “We’ll respond.”

Erik Neumann is JPR's news director. He earned a master's degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and joined JPR as a reporter in 2019 after working at NPR member station KUER in Salt Lake City.