Insurance Enrollment On Marketplace Dips For Second Year

Health insurance enrollment through the national marketplace dipped slightly this year.

A total of 145,264 people signed up for coverage during the 45-day period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. That's a 2% dip from the year before, according to a release from Oregon's Department of Consumer and Business Services, which regulates the insurance industry. Enrollment also fell the previous year -- by 5%.

Nevertheless, 94 percent of the population has health insurance, either through Medicaid, Medicare, their employer or the marketplace, which is where consumers must go to get subsidies to help with their premiums. 

“In many cases, Oregonians whose health and future might have been in jeopardy because they did not have access to insurance find that the plans and subsidies available through HealthCare.gov help make insurance more affordable for them,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, the state's partner with HealthCare.gov.

The expansion of Medicaid coverage associated with the Affordable Care Act has increased coverage of Oregonians. The state's uninsured rate has dropped almost 11 percent since 2009, and today 98% of children are covered.

Now that open enrollment is over, the insurance department is trying to spread the word to people to pay their first month's premium. If they don't, they'll be dropped from coverage.

“They must pay their premium when they receive their January bill in order to make their coverage effective,” said Flowers. “In addition, though open enrollment for 2020 is now closed, Oregonians who experience life changes such as losing job-covered insurance or Medicaid, becoming pregnant, or getting married may qualify for a special enrollment period.”

The department has yet to release figures on how many people qualified for subsidies and the average amount they received.

You can reach Lynne Terry at [email protected].

 

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