Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council OKs reimbursement agreement with Oregon Health Authority

Tribal Council approved an agreement with the Oregon Health Authority on Wednesday, July 25, that will bring the Tribe a contractual maximum of $10 million in additional health care funding.

However, Health Services Executive Director Kelly Rowe said during the Tuesday, July 24, Legislative Action Committee meeting that the Tribe will more likely receive approximately $100,000 to $200,000 in additional funds.

The agreement affects Native patients on the Oregon Health Plan whose health care is managed by the Tribe’s Health & Wellness Center.

The additional “enhanced federal funding” – known as the federal medical assistance percentage -- derives from the federal government paying 60 percent of costs for people on the Oregon Health Plan, but 100 percent for Native Americans who are enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan and receive health care through an Indian Health Service or Tribal medical facility. The extra 40 percent will now be paid back to the Grand Ronde Tribe.

“It’s a huge advantage to get that money back into our system instead of in the state system,” Rowe said.

The contract calls for the state to make the reinvestment savings payments four times a year. The state will retain 10 percent of the payments to cover administrative costs.

Rowe said the contract is a stand-alone agreement and the other eight federally recognized Tribes in Oregon are working on their own contracts with the Oregon Health Authority.

The agreement runs through 2023.

In other action, Tribal Council also approved the 2018 Right of Way logging unit contract as presented by the Natural Resources Department. The project will earn the Tribe approximately $35,650.

Also included in the July 25 Tribal Council packet were approved authorizations to proceed that recommend the Tribe sign a consortium agreement with the University of Oregon College of Education in support of its application for federal funding for the Sapsik’wala Indian Teachers program, as well as approved letters to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Jordan Cove project proposed in southern Oregon.

Tribal Elder Debi Anderson and Tribal Council Secretary Jon A. George gave the cultural presentation, discussing the positive effects of Canoe Journey on Tribal youth and the three Tribal canoes that traveled through Grand Ronde ceded lands on the Columbia River on their way to Puyallup, Wash.

The entire meeting can be viewed by visiting the Tribal website at and clicking on the News tab and then Video.