September 25, 2013 – Today, Cover Oregon provided updates on their October 1 launch, including information about what customers can expect on day one. That’s when Oregonians can shop for and enroll in a health insurance plan that’s right for them and find savings to help pay for coverage. No one can be denied coverage, even if they have a pre-existing health condition.
“We are about to enter a whole new world in health care, one in which Oregonians will be able to finally find health coverage that works for them and their family,” said Cover Oregon Executive Director Howard “Rocky” King. “That’s not to say there won’t be bumps in the road as we roll out the technology. We know that day two will be better than day one, and day three will be better than day two.”
Cover Oregon’s goal is to not only to provide access to coverage, but to make the customer experience as easy and seamless as possible. That’s why Cover Oregon is directing Oregonians to work with Cover Oregon’s 3,000 certified insurance agents and community partners for the first part of October. This will help Cover Oregon resolve any systems issues, fine-tune the process, and ensure the shopping experience is easy and seamless now and into the future.
On October 1, Oregonians can expect:
- On CoverOregon.com, customers will be able to search for a certified insurance agent or community partner in their area or by a specific language. They will also be able browse and compare plans, and sort them by different criteria as well as estimate how much savings they might receive and sign up to receive email updates.
- Customers can also be referred to a certified insurance agent or community partner by calling 1-855-CoverOR (1-855-268-3767) to reach the Service Center, which is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and can help people in multiple languages.
- Working with a certified insurance agent for community partner, customers will be able to create an account, verify their identify, determine their eligibility for no-cost coverage through the Oregon Health Plan and Healthy Kids, or savings in the form of tax credits to help pay for coverage, and compare and enroll in a health insurance plan(s) that meets their needs and budget.
- Before October 1, customers can get ready to enroll by gathering some information including their Social Security Number; citizenship or immigration information (if available) for everyone who is applying for coverage; amounts of taxable income, and deductions or adjustments for 2014; and insurance plan information (for each person on the application) about any current health coverage or health insurance available through an employer.
- Later in the month people will be able to start enrolling themselves online if they desire.
Cover Oregon offers small businesses the choice, flexibility and competition that have only been offered to larger employers in the past. To ensure a positive small business experience, Cover Oregon is staging the launch of employer shopping options. Employers may begin browsing the available plans on October 1st at CoverOregon.com. Enrollment will begin with their agents later in October.
“This approach allows us to focus on making individual and family enrollment as smooth as possible on October 1, while fine-tuning employer quote and enrollment in mid-October,” said King. “We want to get this right, not almost right. When we open the small employer program a few weeks from now, small business owners will find that we have created the most innovative product of its kind.”
October 1 is a starting point, not a finish line. Customers who want to buy individual commercial plans have until December 15to enroll for coverage to kick in January 1, 2014. And enrollment for the Oregon Health Plan, Healthy Kids and small businesses will be open year round. For more information, go to CoverOregon.com or call 1-855-CoverOR (1-855-268-3767).
Editor’s note: Reporters can follow Cover Oregon on Twitter with the hashtag #COGoLive starting October 1 for regular updates. To hear a replay of the media teleconference that took place this morning at 9:00 a.m. PT, call 1-800-475-6701 using program access code 303961.