UPDATED JULY 26th 2011:
As a result of budget cuts during the 2011/2013 session, the State of Oregon Department of Human Services has instructed Independence Northwest and all other support services brokerages statewide to exit any and all customers without Medicaid from our services on October 1st.

We will exit approximately 35 – 45 people from our agency alone. Statewide, there are about 800 people who will lose services. If you aren’t on Medicaid and you need help applying, call your Personal Agent as soon as possible.

How does eliminating services for people without Medicaid/OHP save the state money?

  • The state currently provides services for customers who are not Medicaid eligible solely from the state general fund budget.  When a customer in services becomes eligible for Medicaid, the state can access federal funding on their behalf. If a customer is on a Medicaid waiver, the federal government funds approximately 60% of their services, therefore saving the state money.

I have a job; can I still apply for Medicaid?

  • Most likely.  Currently, brokerage customers can potentially access Medicaid if they have resources under $2,022.00.  “Resources” means the amount of money left over in your bank account the following month after you’ve paid your bills.  Your primary vehicle or home does not count as a resource.  If you are an adult over the age of 18, your parents’ resources no longer count and the Medicaid worker would be considering your resources alone. There are also other incentive programs out there which help working people with disabilities qualify for Medicaid such as the Employed Persons with Disabilities (EPD) program. Ask your PA to set you up with a benefits planner to discuss your options.

I have private insurance already, why should I apply for Medicaid?

  • You can keep your private insurance AND still be eligible for Medicaid. Your private insurance will remain your primary insurance benefit.  In some cases, once you become eligible for Medicaid, it will even cover your premiums on your private insurance or Medicare insurance plan, saving you money! If you are a brokerage customer, having Medicaid also increases the amount of plan dollars you are eligible for. Even if you are not utilizing all the money in your plan now, you may need additional supports some day.

Who do I talk to about my options for applying for Medicaid?

  • Talk to your Personal Agent. They can help direct you to the right office and can assist with the application process if needed.  Sometimes it’s helpful to talk to a benefits planner beforehand to make sure you are taking advantage of all the incentive programs that might be available to you.

Helpful phone numbers:

  • Benefits Planners:
    • Disability Rights Oregon 503-243-2081
    • Independent Living Resources 503-232-7411
  • Medicaid offices
    • Multnomah County ADS helpline 503-988-3646
    • Clackamas County Medicaid office 503-655-8336
    • Washington County DAVS office 503-846-8881

You can download a PDF version of this information here.

– Erin Graff, Assistant Director Independence Northwest