Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services
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State issues insurance emergency order for wildfire victims - 09/23/20

(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services’ Division of Financial Regulation has issued an insurance emergency order for people affected by the state’s wildfires. 

Insurance companies must immediately take steps to do the following until the order is no longer in effect: 

  • Extend all deadlines for policyholders to report claims or submit other communications related to claims
  • Take all practicable steps to provide opportunities for policyholders to report claims
  • Establish a grace period for premium payments for all insurance policies issued, delivered, or covering a risk in the affected areas
  • Suspend cancellations and nonrenewals

The order applies to several ZIP codes across the state. The division’s bulletin No. DFR 2020-16 provides a list of ZIP codes that are subject to the order. 

“We issued this order to make sure evacuees and other Oregonians affected by these wildfires are able to access the insurance resources they need, especially while they are displaced,” said DCBS Director and Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi. “We appreciate all the work our state’s insurance representatives are doing to help their customers right now, and we encourage everyone to be patient and work together throughout the recovery process.”

If your home or property was damaged by the wildfires, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to discuss your situation and learn next steps. If you still have concerns, the division’s consumer advocates are here to help. Call 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or email .insurancehelp@oregon.gov">dfr.insurancehelp@oregon.gov.

Visit the division's wildfire insurance resource page to view the order, bulletin, and more insurance information.

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About DCBS: The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. 

About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and http://dfr.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx.

Building Codes Division can help people locate manufactured home ownership documents - 09/18/20

(Salem) – Thousands of Oregonians have evacuated to escape wildfires that have damaged and destroyed homes throughout the state. Many who evacuated did not have time to take important documents with them, including ownership documents for their manufactured home, and those documents may now be destroyed.

The Oregon Building Codes Division’s online system can provide manufactured home owners with that information, including the record of ownership. Having these documents is important when navigating the insurance process.

The Oregon Manufactured Home Ownership Document (MHOD) system is available at https://aca-oregon.accela.com/OR_MHODS/. The system allows people to search for their documents and, once they find them, print or email them.

“These times are stressful enough without having to locate ownership documents in a damaged or destroyed manufactured home,” said Lori Graham, interim administrator of the Building Codes Division, which is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “Using the MHOD system is the easiest and quickest way for people to get their documents. Yet, if they need help, we can send them a printed copy.”

If customers need an existing ownership document mailed to them, but are displaced from their home, they can email or call, and the division can send it to any address customers want. Call 503-378-4530 or 800-442-7457 (toll-free) or email mhods.bcd@oregon.gov for help.

The MHOD system also has forms and applications, as well as other resources. People can access the records without needing to log in.

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The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

The Building Codes Division administers Oregon’s statewide building code, which provides uniform standards that ensure newly constructed residential and commercial buildings are safe for people to occupy.

Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace logo
Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace logo
Affected Oregonians may enroll in health coverage due to Oregon wildfires (Photo) - 09/16/20

(Salem) – Oregonians affected by the wildfires can use the federal emergency declaration by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to take advantage of an exceptional circumstances special enrollment period (SEP). FEMA declared the Oregon wildfires a federal emergency on Sept. 15, 2020.

Oregonians will have up to 60 days from the end of the FEMA-designated incident period to select a new health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov or make changes to their existing health insurance plan. People who experienced a life change are eligible for a standard special enrollment period that allows them to sign up for a plan 60 days before or 60 days after their life change to enroll in a plan. Examples of a life change include loss of coverage due to loss of employment, marriage, addition of a new family member, gaining lawful immigration status, and moving homes.

Oregonians who were eligible for a standard special enrollment period, but missed this window due to the Oregon wildfires, can use the FEMA SEP to enroll in a plan. Applications are being accepted at HealthCare.gov if the life change is a loss in coverage and at 800-318-2596 (toll-free) for all other life changes.

The FEMA SEP due to the Oregon wildfires is available for people who qualified for a special enrollment period from Sept. 8 through up to 60 days after the FEMA emergency has ended. The declaration of emergency for the Oregon wildfires was issued Sept. 15, 2020, and is still active. Oregonians still have at the very earliest until Nov. 15, 2020 to use the FEMA SEP.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government, helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage, and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov, and a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.

Oregon OSHA logo
Oregon OSHA logo
Oregon OSHA faults 2 employers for similar failures to protect workers against COVID-19 (Photo) - 09/16/20

Salem – Oregon OSHA has issued more than $23,000 in fines to two different businesses for engaging in the same hazardous behavior: refusing to carry out proven steps to help protect workers from the coronavirus disease.

In separate enforcement actions, the division issued citations to Café 22 West in Salem and Howard’s Pharmacy in Lakeview.

The citations resulted from complaint-based inspections. After attempting unsuccessfully to resolve the issues raised in multiple complaints without an enforcement visit, Oregon OSHA initiated worksite inspections. The inspections found both employers willfully failing to implement health hazard control measures – such as face coverings and physical distancing – and continuing to operate in hazardous conditions, despite having been put on notice well before the inspection itself began.

Both cases illustrate failures to account for reasonable and established measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 through employee-to-employee or customer-to-employee transmission.

“In addressing complaints involving COVID-19 and the workplace, we have started with efforts to engage and educate the employers involved about what they needed to do. In most cases, we have been able to resolve any issues without an actual enforcement visit,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “But as these two particular cases demonstrate, we will continue to bring our enforcement tools to bear when employers choose to disregard requirements.”

Here is a summary of each of the division’s enforcement actions:

Café 22 West – citation issued Aug. 18

This inspection concerned activities at a restaurant and retail fruit store.

It found the employer refused to furnish control measures to help protect about 18 employees from potential exposure to COVID-19. The employees’ jobs included hosting, cooking, cleaning, and serving customers.

The control measures that could have been provided – but were not – included implementing physical distancing and ensuring employees and customers wear face coverings.

Because of the employer’s refusal to comply, Oregon OSHA posted a Red Warning Notice at the business. Such a notice makes it clear a workplace is unsafe and should not continue operating until corrections are made.

Still, the employer refused to change course.

Altogether, Oregon OSHA is proposing a total fine of $13,900. That includes an $8,900 penalty for a willful violation of the requirement to provide health hazard controls and a $5,000 penalty for failing to abide by the Red Warning Notice. 

Howard’s Pharmacy – citation issued Sept. 1

This inspection included an examination of worker and customer interactions involving the indoor and outdoor spaces of a pharmacy and retail business.

It found the employer refusing to provide health hazard control measures to help protect an estimated nine employees from potential exposure to COVID-19. The employees were working inside and outside of the establishment.

The control measures that could have been provided – but were not – included implementing physical distancing and ensuring employees and customers wear face coverings.

In this case, too, after working with the employer for a week, Oregon OSHA posted a Red Warning Notice at the business because of its refusal to comply.  

Altogether, the division is proposing a total fine of $9,400. That includes an $8,900 penalty for a willful violation of the requirement to provide health hazard controls. It also includes a $500 penalty for continuing to operate in violation of the Red Warning Notice provisions.

The smaller penalty for the Red Warning Notice violation reflects the employer’s partial attempt to comply by moving operations curbside, although it still had not instituted face coverings when six feet of separation could not be consistently maintained between customers and employees or between employees.

In addition to its enforcement activities, Oregon OSHA offers employers and workers a variety of consultation, information, and education resources addressing COVID-19.

COVID-19 citations – a summary

Since March, Oregon OSHA has issued 18 citations to employers for violating requirements to protect workers from COVID-19. Penalties for non-willful violations ranged from $100 to $2,000, while penalties for willful violations ranged from $8,900 to $14,000. The following summary is not an exhaustive list, as more citations are pending:

Unger Farms Inc. – Cornelius – did not provide one handwashing facility per 10 employees per the temporary emergency rule in agriculture.

Dillon & Associates (dba NW Office Liquidations) – Portland – furniture store was not closed to the public per executive order.

S&J Entertainment LLC – Portland – adult entertainment club was not closed to the public per executive order.

National Frozen Foods Corporation – Albany – did not provide health hazard controls such as physical distancing.

Old Trapper Smoked Products Inc. – Forest Grove – did not provide health hazard controls, including physical distancing; face coverings; or barriers.

Cabela’s Wholesale LLC – Springfield – did not provide health hazard controls such as physical distancing.

City Liquidators Inc. – Portland – furniture store was not closed to the public per executive order.

Barenbrug USA Inc. – Tangent – did not provide health hazard controls such as physical distancing.

Masterbrand Cabinets – Grants Pass – forest products manufacturer did not provide health hazard controls, including physical distancing and face coverings.

Glamour Salon – Salem – willfully failed to follow executive order prohibiting operation of barber shops and hair salons.

Mounts Enterprises (dba Casey’s Restaurant) – Roseburg – willfully failed to follow prohibition of on-premises consumption of food or drink.

Dalin LLP – North Bend – restaurant willfully failed to follow prohibition of on-premises consumption of food or drink.

I&N Inc. – Veneta – gas station and minimart did not use health hazard control measures such as physical distancing and face coverings.

Laui Life Coffee LLC (dba Kevista Coffee) – Bend – willfully failed to implement face coverings per sector-specific guidance for bars and restaurants.

Gold Standard Investment Group LLC – Central Point – did not follow requirements of the temporary emergency rule in agriculture, including adjacent toilet and handwashing facilities; sanitation schedule; and field sanitation information for workers.

Kelli Bieber – Central Point – did not follow requirements of the temporary emergency rule in agriculture, including adjacent toilet and handwashing facilities; sanitation schedule; and field sanitation information for workers.

Cal Farms Inc. – Oregon City – did not follow the requirement of the temporary emergency rule in agriculture to provide field sanitation information for workers.

Oregon Berry Packing Inc. – Hillsboro – did not follow the requirement of the temporary emergency rule in agriculture to provide field sanitation information for workers.

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

 

Attached Media Files: Oregon OSHA logo , DCBS logo
Paid-leave program to help some employees who need to quarantine - 09/14/20

(Salem) – A new program starts this week to help people who work in Oregon and need to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 exposure, but do not have access to COVID-19-related paid sick leave, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today.

The COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program was created with $30 million received from the federal government to help Oregon respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

People who qualify will receive a $120 per-day payment for up to 10 working days ($1,200 total) for the time they are required quarantine.

Employees can apply online starting Wednesday, Sept. 16, at oregon.gov/covidpaidleave.

The application form is available in English, Spanish, and Russian. Those who do not have access to electronic applications can call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130. Those who need help in a language other than these three can call 503-947-0131 for help.

DCBS and the Department of Revenue are collaborating on the new program to ensure employees meet the necessary eligibility requirements.

You must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible for the program:

  • Work in Oregon and required to file an Oregon personal income tax return.
  • Directed to quarantine by a local or tribal public health authority or health care provider because of exposure to someone infected, or isolating because you have COVID-19-related symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • Not able to work (including telework) because you need to quarantine or isolate.
  • Do not expect to earn more than $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020.
  • Your employer does not provide COVID-19-related paid sick leave or you have exhausted your available COVID-19-related paid sick leave.
  • Are not applying for or receiving unemployment insurance benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation.
  • Are not applying for or receiving workers’ compensation claim benefits due to quarantine or isolation.
  • Are not seeking or using benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs in Oregon or another state.
  • Are not applying for or receiving other forms of paid leave from your employer during your quarantine or isolation, such as banked sick leave or vacation leave.
  • Are not laid off or furloughed by your employer.
  • Must have notified your employer that you need to quarantine or isolate.

Because the available funds are limited, the program is available only to quarantine periods that were in place on or after Sept. 16. Applicants can claim only one quarantine period.

For more information or to apply, go to oregon.gov/covidpaidleave or call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The website also contains an eligibility quiz to help people who are not sure if they qualify.

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About DCBS: The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS.

Five insurance tips for wildfire recovery - 09/14/20

Salem – The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has five tips for homeowners and renters who have evacuated or been affected by fire, smoke, and ash damage.

  • Call your insurance company to check your policy. Let your company know if you have evacuated. Coverage is typically available for fire, smoke, and ash damage to your home and personal property.
  • Ask about your auto coverage, too. You need comprehensive coverage on your auto policy to cover fire, smoke, and ash damage, no matter where your vehicle is located at time of the loss.
  • If you had to evacuate, save your receipts and, when it is safe, let your insurance company know you evacuated. Your homeowners policy may pay for expenses such as lodging, food, and even pet boarding due to a mandatory evacuation. Be sure to check with your insurance company to confirm your specific coverage.
  • If you have not evacuated and it is safe to do so, make a quick home inventory by taking photos or video of each room in your home. Pay close attention to what is on the walls and in drawers and closets. Don’t forget storage areas such as the attic and garage. Check your insurance company’s website for an app or checklist that will help. Or use the Insure U Home Inventory Checklist.
  • If your personal belongings are damaged, the insurance company will request a list of items that are damaged or destroyed. Take some time to work on your home inventory list now. Look through your photos and videos to help recall personal items. Be sure to look for smaller items, such as jewelry. To the best of your ability, write down the age, original cost, and replacement cost of each item.

Following these tips will help save you money, time, and stress during a wildfire. For more information on preparing for a wildfire, visit the division’s wildfire page.

Oregonians that have been forced to evacuate their homes because of area wildfires should contact their insurance companies as soon as possible to let them know they have evacuated and discuss next steps. If you still have questions or concerns, the division’s Advocacy Team is here to help. Call the team at 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or visit dfr.oregon.gov.

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About DCBS: The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. 

About Oregon DFR:

The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and http://dfr.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx.

 

Employers urged to protect workers by avoiding outdoor work, following best practices as harmful air quality persists - 09/11/20

PORTLAND, Ore.—State workplace and public health officials are urging employers to stop or delay outdoor work activity where they can and take other reasonable steps to protect workers when air quality reaches the “unhealthy” zone, or worse.

Employers are responsible for providing safe and healthy workplaces, and recognizing and addressing hazards to workers—including unsafe air quality that is expected to continue through the weekend, say officials at Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (Oregon OSHA) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

That responsibility includes:

  • Closing outdoor work activity when air quality in an area becomes “unhealthy,” or reaches an Air Quality Index of at least 151.
  • Allowing workers with underlying health conditions to stay home.
  • Re-arranging work schedules, hours and tasks in a way that enables workers to get relief from smoky outdoor air.
  • Providing N95 masks, where and when appropriate, and informing workers of their proper use and care. This Oregon OSHA video walks employers and workers through those procedures.

Moreover, employers must be mindful that workers who have families in areas that have been directed to prepare to evacuate may need to stay home from work to help their families with those preparations.

“During this incredibly challenging and evolving emergency, we are encouraging employers—particularly those with outdoor operations—to take all reasonable and necessary precautions and steps to ensure the safety of their employees,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA.

Such outdoor operations include farming harvests, construction and those in which outdoor activities require heavy and prolonged exertion. This is because exertion results in a higher respiratory rate that will increase harmful pollutant exposure and increase the risk of adverse health effects. Moreover, current conditions combine pollution from wildfire smoke with increased ambient temperatures in some areas. Heat and air pollution both affect lung and heart health and could have additive adverse effects on workers.

And while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many outdoor workers to more routinely use face coverings to protect themselves and others from the virus, face masks, face shields and face coverings are not acceptable replacements for improved air quality, said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., health officer and state epidemiologist at the OHA Public Health Division.

Sidelinger added that increased pollution has been associated with a higher risk of respiratory infection, which has serious implications during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially important for Oregon’s worker population of which a major part is Hispanic/Latinx, a group that has experienced disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 infection than people from other ethnic backgrounds.

“This makes this important and sizable population of our workforce potentially more vulnerable to the adverse effects of combined wildfire smoke and COVID-19 risks,” Sidelinger said.

Workers are encouraged to raise health and safety issues with employers, including through their safety committees. Workers who are worried or believe their concerns are not being addressed may file a complaint with Oregon OSHA.

Employers also are encouraged to check the state’s Air Quality Index (AQI) Map and air quality ratings at the beginning of a shift and every hour into the shift to ensure workers are not working in “unhealthy” or worse conditions.

Indoor air quality may also become a concern. Employers and workers are encouraged to check a building’s ventilation system to make sure it has received routine maintenance, such as filter changes.

Oregon OSHA also offers other resources to help employers and workers assess and address hazards, including air quality issues. They include consultation services and technical experts.

Other resources include:

Contact information:

Aaron Corvin, public information officer, Oregon OSHA, 971-718-6973, on.corvin@oregon.gov">aaron.corvin@oregon.gov

Jonathan Modie, communications officer, OHA, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

DCBS logo
DCBS logo
Workers' compensation costs to drop for eighth-straight year (Photo) - 09/09/20

Salem – In 2021, Oregon employers, on average, will pay less for workers’ compensation coverage, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today. The decline in costs marks eight years of average decreases in the pure premium rate – the base rate insurers use to determine how much employers must pay for medical claims and lost wages.

Underpinning the cost decreases is the success of Oregon’s workers’ compensation system, which includes programs to control costs, maintain good worker benefits, ensure employers carry insurance for their workers, and to improve workplace safety and health.

The numbers illustrate positive, long-term trends:

  • Employers, on average, will pay $1.00 per $100 of payroll for workers’ compensation insurance in 2021, down from $1.05 in 2020, under a proposal by DCBS. That figure covers workers’ compensation claims costs, assessments, and insurer profit and expenses.
  • The pure premium rate will drop by an average 5.6 percent under the proposal. In fact, the pure premium – filed by a national rate-setting organization and reviewed by DCBS – will have declined by 48 percent during the 2013 to 2021 period.

Oregon’s lost-time claim frequency “has generally been decreasing moderately” while the severity of wage-replacement and medical costs “are showing a long-term downward trend,” according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), the U.S. rate-setting organization whose recommendation DCBS reviews as part of its annual public process to decide rates.

Employers’ cost for workers’ compensation insurance covers the pure premium and insurer profit and expenses, plus the premium assessment. Employers also pay the Workers’ Benefit Fund assessment, which is a cents-per-hour-worked rate.

The decrease in the pure premium of 5.6 percent is an average, so an individual employer may see a larger or smaller decrease, no change, or even an increase depending on the employer’s own industry, claims experience, and payroll. Also, pure premium does not take into account the varying expenses and profit of insurers. 

Helping sustain the trend in lower costs is the stability of Oregon’s workers’ compensation system. The system includes the Workers’ Compensation Division; Oregon OSHA; the Workers’ Compensation Board, which resolves disputes over the state’s workers’ compensation and workplace safety laws; and injured worker and small business advocacy services. 

Those successful programs are funded by the premium assessment.

The premium assessment is a percentage of the workers’ compensation insurance premium employers pay. It is added to the premium. It would increase from 8.4 percent this year to 9.0 percent in 2021.

The premium assessment is affected by the pure premium and the economy – in order to provide stable funding for programs that support Oregon’s workers’ compensation and worker safety programs, an increase in the assessment is needed to partially counteract a decline in pure premium.

The 0.6 percentage point increase is also meant to partially offset an anticipated decline in revenue triggered by economic conditions. At the same time, DCBS has already begun to reduce its planned expenses to help offset the reduction in revenue.  The agency will continue to closely monitor its revenue and expenses in light of uncertainties in the economy.

“As we move forward with our rate-setting process, we are focused on taking a cautious, balanced approach,” said Andrew Stolfi, DCBS director and insurance commissioner. “It’s an approach that accounts for a tough economy and that helps stabilize programs that benefit employers and workers.”

Meanwhile, the Workers’ Benefit Fund assessment provides benefit increases to permanently disabled workers and to families of workers who died from a workplace injury or disease. It also supports Oregon’s efforts to help injured workers return to work sooner – through incentive programs to employers – and earn their pre-injury wages.

The fund’s revenue comes from a cents-per-hour-worked assessment. The assessment would see no change in 2021, remaining at 2.2 cents per hour worked

The decrease in the pure premium will be effective Jan. 1, 2021, but employers will see the changes when they renew their policies in 2021. The assessment changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Oregon’s workers’ compensation premium rates have ranked low nationally for many years. Oregon had the sixth least expensive rates in 2018, according to a nationally recognized biennial study conducted by DCBS. That was an improvement from Oregon’s ranking as the seventh least expensive state the last time the study was done in 2016.

The following cost chart summarizes the changes and includes information about how to participate in the virtual public hearing set for Thursday, Sept. 17, at 3 p.m.: https://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/cost/Documents/wc-summary.pdf

Annual Oregon average pure premium rate changes and average changes by industry: https://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/cost/Documents/pure-premium-rate.pdf

More information about Oregon workers’ compensation costs:  http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/cost/Pages/index.aspx

Attached Media Files: DCBS logo
If you're on evacuation alert these quick tasks will save you thousands in a wildfire - 09/08/20

Here are resources for people who are on evacuation alert.  

Two tasks to do today to save time, money, and stress during a wildfire:

  1. Create a home inventory – Take photos or video of each room in your home. Pay close attention to what’s on walls, in closets and drawers, and storage spaces.
  2. Check your insurance coverage – Make sure you have the right coverage for fire damage. For example, you need comprehensive coverage on your auto policy to cover damage caused by fire.

These two tasks will help people save thousands following a disaster, and they are good for everyone to do, no matter where you live. 

Visit the Division of Financial Regualtion website for more resources: dfr.oregon.gov/preparenow

 

 

 

Oregon OSHA
Oregon OSHA
Scholarship awards boost student achievement (Photo) - 09/02/20

(Salem) – Each of them has different educational goals, career plans, and dreams. All of them have endured the personal and financial hardships that result when a parent or spouse is lost to a workplace death or permanently disabled while on the job.

Seven Oregon high school graduates are recipients of the 2020 Workers’ Memorial Scholarship awards, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) announced. The awards program helps finance higher education for family members of Oregon workers who have been fatally injured or permanently disabled on the job.

“In the face of serious challenges, these students have shown a lot of heart and a lot of grit in staying focused on their educational pursuits,” said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. “These awards represent an opportunity for us to help them as they continue moving forward on their respective paths.”

The Workers’ Memorial Scholarship is open to any high school graduate, graduating high school senior, GED recipient, or current college undergraduate or graduate student who is a dependent or spouse of an Oregon worker who has been fatally injured or permanently disabled while on the job.

This year’s recipients are:

Salma Anguiano, Hermiston

Anguiano is a 2018 graduate of Hermiston High School. She is studying American government and politics, and Chinese language and literature at Whitman College.

Anguiano said she envisions a career of helping build “mutual understanding among different diverse communities.”

A vehicle accident left her stepfather, who worked at a dairy farm, a quadriplegic. Anguiano is receiving a $3,000 award.

Katy Molloy Brady, Junction City

Molloy Brady is a graduate of Junction City High School who holds degrees in accounting and criminal justice from Portland State University and Linn-Benton Community College, respectively. Currently, she is pursuing a law degree at the University of Oregon.

She said she hopes to practice tax law or forensic accounting after completing her law degree. “I’ve learned how to be resilient,” she said. “No matter what happens, I’m able to roll with the punches.”

Molloy Brady’s husband, a truck driver, died in an equipment accident in 2016. She is receiving a $3,000 award.

McKenzie Dodge, Mill City

A graduate of Santiam High School, Dodge will become a freshman at Linfield University in the fall. Her degree plans include registered nursing and pediatric nursing.

When Dodge looks to the future, she said, she sees herself caring for others. “I want to be someone who helps people and could potentially save someone’s life,” she said.

Dodge’s father, a millwright, died in a lumber mill accident in 2014. She is receiving a $3,000 award.

Ginger Ewing, Bandon

Ewing, a graduate of Bandon High School, will be a sophomore at Linfield University this fall. She is pursuing coursework with the goal of becoming a registered nurse.

“I feel that, by becoming a nurse, I can be a positive influence in each and every community I may live in throughout my life,” Ewing said.

Ewing’s father, a cattle ranch worker, was fatally kicked in the head by a horse. She is receiving a $3,000 award.

Alexis Grizzell, Beaverton

Grizzell, a graduate of Alpha Omega Academy in Rock Rapids, Iowa, is pursuing a bachelor of science degree in graphic design at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla.

When she looks ahead to a potential career, Grizzell sees herself as a freelance photographer who incorporates her graphic design skills into her work.

“My biggest inspiration has been knowing I have the willpower to do anything I set my mind to,” she said.

Grizzell’s father, a satellite technician, died from a fall injury in 2009. She is receiving a $3,000 award.

Isaac Milner, Silverton

Milner is a graduate of Silverton High School. He will begin his college studies in the fall as a freshman at Linfield University. 

Milner plans to pursue a bachelor of arts degree in sales, distribution, and marketing, with a second major in Spanish language and literature. He aspires to a career in business.

Milner’s stepfather died in a car accident while traveling for work. He is receiving a $3,000 award.

Sydney Sampson, Springfield

A graduate of Henry D. Sheldon High School who completed coursework at Lane Community College, Sampson will be a senior at University of Oregon in the fall. At the university, she is working toward a bachelor’s degree in international studies with a minor in Spanish.

After she obtains her bachelor’s degree, Sampson said, she plans to gain work experience for several years before returning to school to seek a master’s degree.

Sampson sees social work in her future. “I want to use my career to put some good out into the world,” she said, “and I think that the best way for me to do this is through nonprofit work.”

Sampson’s stepfather, a police officer, was shot to death in the line of duty. She is receiving a $500 award.

Award recommendations are made by Oregon OSHA’s Safe Employment Education and Training Advisory Committee, an advisory group with members from business, organized labor, and government. Oregon OSHA presents the awards annually to help in the postsecondary education of spouses or children of permanently and totally disabled or fatally injured workers.

The 1991 Legislature established the Workers’ Memorial Scholarship at the request of the Oregon AFL-CIO, with support from Associated Oregon Industries.

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

 

 

 

Attached Media Files: Oregon OSHA , DCBS logo
Uninsured Oregonians may use COVID-19 emergency to enroll in health coverage - 09/01/20

(Salem) – Uninsured Oregonians who were not able to sign up for private health coverage due to COVID-19 can still enroll. HealthCare.gov has made it easier for uninsured consumers to enroll in coverage through its existing national emergency or major disaster exceptional circumstances special enrollment period (SEP), also known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) SEP.

People who experienced a life c are eligible for a standard special enrollment period that allows them to sign up for a plan 60 days before or 60 days after their life change to enroll in a plan. Examples of a life change include loss of coverage due to loss of employment, marriage, addition of a new family member, gaining lawful immigration status, and moving homes. Oregonians who were eligible for a standard special enrollment period, but missed this window due to COVID-19, can use the FEMA SEP to enroll in a plan. They would need to submit proof of their life change and do not need to submit proof that they have been affected by COVID-19. Applications are being accepted at HealthCare.gov if the life change is a loss in coverage and at 800-318-2596 (toll-free) for all other life changes.

The FEMA SEP for private health coverage is available for people who qualified for a special enrollment period from Jan. 1, 2020, through up to 60 days after the national public health emergency has ended. The current national declaration is set to end in late October.  

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government, helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage, and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov, and a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.

Oregon wildfires spark two tasks to save time, money, and stress ahead of National Preparedness Month - 08/31/20

(Salem) – Human- and lightning-caused fires sparked across Oregon ahead of National Preparedness Month. These stern warnings make it critical for all Oregonians to get prepared for both natural and human-caused disasters.

September is National Preparedness Month, and it is kicked-off in Oregon by Home Inventory Week. To recognize this often overlooked part of disaster preparation, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation encourages all Oregonians to do two simple tasks that will save time, money, and stress when disaster strikes:

  1. Build a home inventory – Take video or photos of each room in your home, paying close attention to walls, drawers, closets, and storage areas. Write down the purchase date and price of high value items. Recalling your personal property is a daunting task following a disaster. A home inventory eases the post-disaster stress, and enables your insurance company to move forward with processing your claim.   
  2. Review your insurance coverage – Take time to discuss your policies with your insurance company or agent. Make sure you have the right coverage and know what to expect when you file a claim for disasters such as fire, earthquake, flood, tornado, theft, and ice storms.

“Recent wildfires remind us how important it is for Oregonians to build a home inventory and make sure they have the right insurance coverage to protect their families,” said Insurance Commissioner and Department of Consumer and Business Services Director Andrew Stolfi. “These projects are easy to do, and now is the time to get these money-saving and stress-reducing tasks done.”

Oregonians are encouraged to visit dfr.oregon.gov/preparenow for videos and resources to help complete these simple tasks. The site also provides social media tools to help people encourage their families, friends, and neighbors to get prepared as well.

Anyone affected by recent wildfires should contact their insurance company as soon as possible to find out the next steps. If you still have questions or concerns, the division’s consumer advocates are here to help.  

Call 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or visit dfr.oregon.gov/help for more information.

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About DCBS: The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. 

About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and http://dfr.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx.