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Governor Brown Announces Oregon to Receive First-in-Nation Medicaid Funding for Food, Housing, and Nutrition

HERMISTON — Governor Kate Brown today joined the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to announce that Oregon will receive $1.1 billion in new federal funds to address the health-related social needs of Oregonians through the federal approval to pilot first-in-the-nation changes to the state’s Medicaid program.

Under the new Medicaid waiver, Oregon is the first state in the nation to receive federal approval for continuous health coverage for children under six years old. Additionally, all Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members aged six and older will have two years of continuous OHP enrollment, ensuring continuous coverage and consistent access to health, dental and behavioral health care. The waiver will also expand health-related social needs coverage for certain food assistance and housing support — as well as invest in resources that will help mitigate the health risks of climate change, serving as the first state in the country to use Medicaid funding for climate-related health needs.

“Health care does not occur in a vacuum––it’s clear that we must look beyond a traditional, siloed approach to truly meet the needs of people, particularly those experiencing complex challenges,” said Governor Brown. “With the approval of our Medicaid waiver, we will be taking an innovative, holistic approach to closing equity gaps by addressing health-related social needs––such as housing, nutrition, and support for extreme climate events.

“This transformational agreement injects new resources into our health care system to help Oregon families and communities tackle the housing and food insecurity problems that can undermine good health and quality of life. I appreciate the Biden-Harris administration’s partnership and their support to allow Oregon to once again break new ground in advancing the health and well-being of people in our state.”

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