September 24, 2013 -- As you know, Cover Oregon is the one-stop shop for people to apply for private health insurance and the Oregon Health Plan (OHP).
But there is an exciting new option for people who currently receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and parents who currently have children enrolled in the Healthy Kids program.
These individuals who meet income requirements can use what we are calling "fast-track" enrollment to automatically enroll in the Oregon Health Plan. They do not have to apply through Cover Oregon or the paper application. They can enroll by simply signing and returning a one-page form we are sending them in the mail.
The Oregon Health Authority is mailing letters that will hit mailboxes this weekend. The letter lets people know that they have health care coverage through OHP. All they have to do to enroll is sign and return the form.
About 260,000 adults will receive this letter. This is very good news for many Oregonians who are currently uninsured!
Important: As we mentioned, fast-track eligible adults do not have to go through Cover Oregon. All they have to do is sign and return the form.
For more information, visit www.health.oregon.gov and click on the Fast-Track Enrollment button.
Please email [email protected] if you have any questions. There are additional resources in the File Cabinet on Groupsite in the Oregon Health Plan folder under Enrollment Assistance.UPDATE: ONLINE APPLICATION LAUNCH PLAN Staged launch plan to help enroll Oregonians
As you know, Cover Oregon is implementing a staged launch plan. Starting October 1, 2013 Oregonians will be able to apply for health insurance through Cover Oregon certified insurance agents and community partners. Later in October, all Oregonians will be able to apply online without the assistance of community partners or agents, if desired.
S.H.O.P. - Online employer portal
To ensure that our small business experience is as good as it can be, employers can begin by browsing plans October 1 on CoverOregon.com and will start enrollment with their agents later in October.
We know that individuals have a six-month open enrollment window versus small businesses' year-round enrollment. We also believe employers won't start signing up until mid-October because they first need time to explore options and meet with their agent. This approach allows us to focus on making enrollment as smooth as possible onOctober 1 for individuals and families, and fine-tuning enrollment in mid-October for employers.
When we launch the employer portal later in October, it will be accessible first to agents and community partners for two weeks. This is consistent with our strategy of allowing trained users to test the system prior to a full launch.
It is about getting it right not getting it out, and when it comes to offering the best options to small businesses 'almost right' isn't good enough. When we open S.H.O.P. a few weeks from now small business owners will find that we have created the most innovative product of its kind for small employers.
We want to remind customers that October 1 is a starting point, not a finish line. Customers who want to buy commercial plans have until Dec. 15 to enroll for coverage to kick in January 1, 2014. And enrollment for small businesses will be open year-round.