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Health and Medicine
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Tries New Health Care Benefits Model For Public Employees

Public workers in Oregon will soon receive health care under a new model that's meant to rein in costs.

The Oregon Public Employees Benefits Board Tuesday approved a plan that's similar to a type developed for Oregon's Medicaid enrollees. Under that model, health care providers are given more flexibility to administer lower-cost preventative care. 

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber said that if the plan works for Oregon's 130,000 public employees, "We're hoping that this will then lead to being able to move that care model even further and offer it to small businesses and individuals."

The governor's office said the cost of providing health care to public workers in Oregon has almost doubled over the past 12 years.