June 22, 2006


*A copy of this memo below was sent to me by Oregonians for Immigration Reform which received a copy.

Date: June 21, 2006
To: All DHS staff
From: Bruce Goldberg, Director
Re: Medicaid Eligibility and Proof of Citizenship

As many of you know, a provision in the 2006 federal Deficit Reduction Act
requires Medicaid applicants and recipients to provide documentation of
identification and citizenship. This provision, which takes effect July 1, will
not initially change our work processes.
All DHS staff should continue doing
business as usual until the department has provided specific guidance for
Staff from throughout the department are researching options for implementing
the new documentation requirements in a way that will not jeopardize people’s
health and safety. Once the specific implementation rules and procedures are
developed, they will be provided to you along with directions for working with
clients. No operational changes should occur until planning and training have
been completed.
If you hear concerns from clients before then, please reassure them that DHS
will work with them to identify and locate the documents they need to prove
citizenship. No one will be denied access to these programs or rejected from
these programs if they meet existing eligibility requirements. Our overarching
goal in this transition is to ensure no harm occurs to anyone as we implement
these new federal requirements .
Although the new federal regulations require more documentation, there remains
some flexibility for handling situations where clients cannot provide such items
as birth certificates, photo I.D.s or other identification materials.
good health and access to health care is important to everyone, my goal is to
implement these new requirements in a manner that meets the law without harming
needy individuals. (in other words, illegal aliens will stay on the dole and we’ll fix it up)
As you know, Medicaid is health insurance that helps many people who can’t
afford medical care pay for some or all of their medical bills. As with other
Medicaid program requirements, states must implement an effective process for
ensuring compliance with documentation of citizenship in order to obtain federal
matching funds. Effective compliance will be part of Medicaid program integrity
I appreciate that this change is causing concern among staff and clients, and I
thank you in advance for your efforts as we move through this transition.