Oregon to Hold Lottery for Health Insurance

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Portland, Ore. (AP) It's a one-of-a-kind lottery -- the prize Is health insurance.

Oregon starts drawing names this week for a chance to enroll in a state program geared toward people who aren't poor enough for Medicaid but are too strapped for cash to buy their own insurance.

More than 80,000 people have signed up for a chance but only a few thousand will be chosen.

Many are like Shirley Krueger, who can't afford to take insulin regularly for her diabetes. She works part-time and isn't eligible for her employer's insurance.

What's known as the standard benefit program was once a heralded highlight of the Oregon health plan and expanded coverage to many Oregonians who would otherwise go without.

When the state fell on hard times, the program's budget was cut. By 2004, it was closed to newcomers.

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