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COOS COUNTY — During the COVID-19 outbreak, Coos Health and Wellness is offering assistance over the phone to people signing up for the Oregon Health Plan.

Coos Health and Wellness provides OHP application assistance throughout the year in its office, but is assisting in filling out applications over the phone to keep people safe in their homes instead of going out and exposing themselves.

“We serve between 3,000 and 4,500 people every year," said Florence Portal-Stevens with Coos Health and Wellness. "The change we’ve made is to have those appointments over the phone rather than have people walk in to our location."

According to Portal-Stevens, the process to sign up for OHP takes between half an hour and an hour.

“The process over the phone takes about the same amount of time as it would in person. It’s a few-page application that makes sure people have the proper recommendations for their income levels,” Portal-Stevens said.

After the application is filled out it must be processed and approved by the state.

“Usually I believe that the coverage is retracted to the day people apply for it,” Portal-Stevens said.

With temporarily lay-offs from the closures of bars and restaurants, and the "Stay-at-Home" order, there are many who may no longer have health care. However, Coos Health and Wellness does not currently have statistics on an increase in OHP applications.  

Those who are uninsured, under insured, or loosing coverage can give Renee Hacker at Coos Health and Wellness a call at 541-266-6743 for assistance. Spanish speakers can call Kelsey Hill at 541-266-6735.

Registration assistance for OHP over the phone will be available through Coos Health and Wellness until May, or until further notice.

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