Lund Report: Oregon tribes take a look at health care costs

"It’s been a busy month in Oregon’s world of health policy, but perhaps nowhere more so than the intersection between tribal health issues and the health insurance exchange.

Even though the financial future of the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange suffered a setback by going back to committee during this short legislative session, both tribal and exchange leaders expect nothing will change in terms of the guaranteed insurance funding and basic administrative structure.

In the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, President Obama signed a final $237.3 million increase in the budget for Indian Health Services, which represented a 5.8 percent hike. Some of that federal funding is trickling down to a maximum $100,000 contract that the exchange signed last week with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board for research to determine tribal-specific eligibility needs.

Under the terms of the contract, they will continue to address issues specific to American Indian/Alaska Native participants under the Affordable Care Act. They’ll also be looking into ways that the exchange could permit tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian organizations to pay premiums on federally-certified health plans."

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Tribal Concerns in Health Exchange Spotlight (The Lund Report 2/28)

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