This study examines the impact of the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) on children's access to care. A telephone survey was conducted in 1998 of two groups of children: OHP enrollees and food stamp recipients not enrolled in OHP. Much of OHP's impact has been realized by the simple extension of health insurance coverage to Oregon's low-income children. The availability of insurance significantly increased the use of physician visits and dental care. The priority list had little effect on children, affecting only 2 percent of OHP children surveyed, most of whom succeeded in getting the service anyway. Thus, despite the negative publicity prior to its implementation, there is no evidence that "rationing" under OHP has substantially restricted access to needed services for children.
Children in the Oregon Health Plan: how have they fared?