For Medicaid Participants

Student safety and success are both priorities at Lewis & Clark.  We know that students who have health insurance that allows them to access a range of healthcare in Portland are more likely to get the care they need and to be successful academically.  

(Note:  The information below pertains to undergraduate and law students.  For students in the Graduate School of Education & Counseling, health insurance coverage is not required.)  

Students who have Medicaid benefits from Oregon (Oregon Health Plan) or Washington (Apple Health) can choose to retain that insurance coverage and waive enrollment in student health insurance, because these plans meet the college’s requirements for student health insurance.  These students must complete the online waiver form each academic year by the mid-September deadline, or they will be charged the annual premium for student health insurance.

Unfortunately, Medicaid plans from other states generally DO NOT meet the college’s requirements for health insurance, because these plans provide only emergency and/or urgent care in the Portland area. 


We understand that transitioning Medicaid benefits from one state to another can be confusing.  We’re providing the following information to support students from states other than Washington and Oregon in considering their options and potentially making a smooth transition to Oregon Medicaid (i.e., the Oregon Health Plan).

If you have Medicaid coverage outside of Oregon or Washington, the first thing to do is to review Lewis & Clark’s health insurance requirements for students.  See if your Medicaid plan meets these criteria.  Contact your current health care (i.e., Medicaid) insurance administrator if you need help figuring out the benefits provided by your plan. The contact number for the administrator should be on the back of your current insurance card.  

If your Medicaid plan meets Lewis & Clark requirements for health insurance, then you are eligible to fill out a student health insurance waiver.  In most cases, however, Medicaid coverage from other states does not meet Lewis & Clark’s minimum criteria for health insurance.  If your Medicaid coverage does not meet Lewis & Clark requirements for health insurance, you will not be able to use that coverage as a basis for waiving enrollment in the student health insurance plan. 

The next step is to contact your Medicaid plan administrator (you’ll find that number on the back side of your current insurance card) to see what steps are needed to transfer your benefits to Oregon (if that is an option).  By starting with your current health insurance administrator, you will have clear guidance on how to transfer your insurance (if applicable).  Be sure to ask about and understand the limitations of using your insurance when you’re back in your home state on holidays or summer breaks.

If it’s clear that you should apply for the Oregon Health Plan benefit, you may do so on the following website: This site also has tools to help you determine if you qualify for coverage. Every state has its own criteria for determining eligibility and having Medicaid in a different state does not guarantee that you’ll qualify in the state of Oregon.  An alternative to switching Medicaid coverage to Oregon, is to choose to purchase alternative health insurance coverage from the health insurance marketplace or enroll in student health insurance in order to meet the institutional health insurance requirement.

The following link may help you find community partners who can assist in the application process for the Oregon Health Plan:

We acknowledge that it can take a long time to transition from another state’s Medicaid plan to the Oregon Health Plan.  If and when you know you want to transition your out-of-state Medicaid coverage to the Oregon Health Plan, and you know this transition will not be complete by the mid-September waiver deadline, you must notify our office ( or  503-768-8235) prior to the waiver deadline.  We are generally able to grant extensions so that you have more time to get your coverage in place.  If you do not request an extension prior to the waiver deadline, you will be charged the annual fee for student health insurance.