April 2, 2013 -- Cover Oregon has approved the health insurance carriers that will participate in its online marketplace – a key step in preparing for open enrollment in October.
Cover Oregon gave approval this week to 22 carriers that plan to offer individual, small employer, and dental plans. The plans themselves have not yet been reviewed or approved, and there are still many steps the carriers must follow to make their plans available this fall, but Cover Oregon expects it will provide a robust level of coverage choices to Oregonians.
“Providing high quality, affordable options to Oregonians across the state is part of Cover Oregon’s mission and a key expectation of the Board of Directors,” said Liz Baxter, chair of the board. “One measure of a successful launch will be that individuals, families and small employers are able to select coverage that is right for them.”
Cover Oregon is a central online marketplace where individuals and small employers can shop for and compare health coverage options and access financial assistance.
To participate in Cover Oregon, carriers must meet several state and federal laws, such as being licensed and in good standing with the state, offering a standard bronze, silver and gold plan as well as cost-sharing variations of silver plans, and ensuring network adequacy. They also had to provide information to Cover Oregon about transparency, quality, and the use of medical homes.
Next, carriers must submit the plans they seek to offer in Cover Oregon to the Department of Consumer and Business Services Insurance Division by April 30. The division will review the plans’ rates and make sure the plans contain the “essential health benefits” required by the Affordable Care Act. After the Insurance Division approves the plans, Cover Oregon will review the carrier’s filings to check for exchange-specific requirements and certify the plans as “Qualified Health Plans.”
Individuals and small employers can begin shopping for the Qualified Health Plans through Cover Oregon in October. Coverage will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.