Private insurance is out of reach for families who are a little over income for Medicaid due to out-of-pocket costs associated with premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and prescriptions. People who earn a dollar too much or don’t qualify due to immigration status are affected the most. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance was made accessible for more people but many still could not afford it. In 2014, the Premium Assistance program was launched to address this need.

The Premium Assistance clients earn below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level and qualify for a tax credit through the Federal Marketplace. The Premium Assistance program leverages the tax credits and cost-sharing reductions available to participants to pay the balance of the premiums for the medical plans they have selected through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

The Premium Assistance program pays the monthly insurance premium for participants. The program also works with participants and providers to help lower additional out-of-pocket expenses and continues to seek ways to add benefits to participants.

In 2018, the Pharmacy Bridge program and Premium Assistance program began a collaboration that can allow pharmacies to waive medication co-pays for participants. This is another way Project Access NOW leverages resources to improve the health and well-being of the community.

Since their inception, the Outreach, Enrollment, and Access and Premium Assistance programs have assisted over 50,000 households apply for health insurance through the Oregon Health Plan and the Health Insurance Marketplace, and have paid for over 1,200 households’ monthly health insurance premiums.

The end result is access to health insurance and medical care for low to no-cost for many people who would not otherwise be able to afford it. Through combining programs and resources, Project Access NOW continues to create access to care, services and resources for those most in need.

Contact Premium Assistance

Program Staff

  • Linzay Barnhart – (971) 254-2789 | email
  • Benjamin Becerra – (503) 715-7077 | email

Main Office

  • By phone: (503) 345-6576