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Which healthcare plan should I choose?

Sep 27, 2022

If you are eligible to participate in the Essential Worker Healthcare Trust, you may be able to choose between two benefit options: Kaiser Permanente HMO coverage and traditional coverage through the Regence PPO network. 

Workers who live in the Kaiser Permanente service area—the area of the state where Kaiser Permanente has facilities—can choose between the two options. Kaiser Permanente operates clinics in Clackamas, Columbia, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill counties. 

Only you can decide which plan is best for you and your family. Making the decision is easier if you understand how the two plans work. 

Kaiser Permanente is an HMO (or Health Maintenance Organization). HMOs have their own network of healthcare providers and hospitals that have agreed to accept payment at a certain level for any services they provide. If you sign up for Kaiser Permanente , you must get care from a Kaiser Permanente healthcare provider (or an affiliate) for your care to be covered by your plan. 

Kaiser Permanente also offers convenient options for getting care whenever and however you need it. 

  • Phone – When you have a condition that doesn’t require an in-person visit, save yourself a trip to the office by scheduling a call with a Kaiser Permanente doctor. 
  • Video – Meet face-to-face with a doctor online for convenience and privacy. 
  • Email – Message your doctor’s office anytime with nonurgent health questions. You’ll get a response usually within two business days. 
  • Website – Conveniently schedule (or cancel) appointments, view lab results, refill prescriptions, print vaccination records, or take advantage of health guides and other resources, and more – all conveniently accessible online. 
  • Mobile – Download the Kaiser Permanente app for up-to-the minute account access at your fingertips. 

Regence PPO is a Preferred Provider Organization. This is a type of healthcare program that creates a network of participating providers. You will pay less if you get care from an “in-network” provider, but you can visit an “out-of-network” provider at a higher cost to you. Regence PPO also provides: 

  • MDLIVE, which lets you visit board-certified doctors 24/7 by phone, app, or online video. MDLIVE providers can help treat non-emergency medical and pediatric health issues. They may even write and send prescriptions to a nearby pharmacy (when appropriate). 
  • Consejeros bilingual and bicultural representatives who offer customer service and support if you prefer to speak Spanish when discussing your healthcare and insurance. 

Both plans cover the same kinds of services with the same costs to you when you need care. Please view the Benefits page for more information