“Historically” High Number of Calls Backlogging State Health and Benefits Programs

With the conclusion of the federal public health emergency related to COVID-19, the state of Oregon is undertaking a comprehensive review of eligibility for 1.5 million Oregonians benefiting from the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) and other Medicaid programs. However, this process, combined with a surge in applications for various assistance programs, has resulted in an unprecedented influx of callers to the ONE Customer Service Center, affecting call wait times.

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is acknowledging the challenges and urging Oregon residents to explore alternative contact options due to the prolonged wait times at the ONE Customer Service Center. The center, managing queries related to medical, food, cash, and child care benefits, is struggling to cope with the historic volume of calls.

Nathan Singer, director of the Oregon Eligibility Partnership at ODHS, emphasized their commitment to providing optimal customer service and recommended Oregonians utilize the ONE Online account, Oregon ONE Mobile app, or online chat bot to alleviate the strain on phone lines.

As the open enrollment season for Medicare and the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace approaches, ODHS anticipates that call wait times will persist at elevated levels. While OHP applications are accepted year-round, the enrollment events typically heighten interest and awareness.

OHP members are urged to promptly respond to requests for information to avoid delays. The most efficient way to update information is through the ONE Online account on benefits.oregon.gov or via the Oregon ONE Mobile app. The ONE Customer Service Center can still be reached by phone at 1-800-699-9075, with the suggestion that mornings between 7 and 8 a.m., particularly on Tuesdays, experience lower call volumes.

For those seeking in-person assistance, local ODHS offices are available, and a directory can be found on their website. Additionally, the Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon can provide support at 1-855-673-2372 or in person, as listed on http://www.adrcoforegon.org.

Various channels for support and information include online resources, the Oregon ONE Mobile app, local offices, language-specific assistance, mail, and fax. Moreover, community partners are available to offer free assistance with medical benefits, and their locations can be found on the ODHS website.

The ODHS reassures the public that efforts are underway to enhance service capacities and encourages citizens to explore the diverse avenues available for assistance in navigating their medical, food, cash, and child care benefits.

Source: ODHS

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