More Time, More Options for First Cover Oregon Applicants and State High Risk Pool

People who met Dec. 4 deadline have until Dec. 27 to pick a plan and enroll

The first Oregonians to complete applications have a little more time to enroll in a private health plan through Cover Oregon effective Jan. 1, 2014.

These consumers now have until Dec. 27 at 5:00 p.m. to choose a health plan and notify Cover Oregon of their selections, under an agreement reached late today with insurance carriers.

The extension is in effect for people whose completed applications reached Cover Oregon by Dec. 4 or were postmarked by that day. Originally, these applicants had until Sunday to choose a plan.

“This new timeline allows this first wave of applicants to carefully consider the plan choices, pick a plan and get enrolled,” said Dr. Bruce Goldberg, M.D., acting director of Cover Oregon. “The insurance carriers are really stepping up to help us give the early applicants the opportunity to get health insurance by Jan. 1.”

Enrollments, also called plan selections, must be received by Cover Oregon by 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 27.

Cover Oregon is encouraging people to use the online enrollment option after they receive notice of their eligibility and tax credits to help pay for health coverage. People who aren’t able to enroll online should work with a local insurance agent or a Cover Oregon community partner. A list of certified agents and community partners is available at coveroregon.com.

In addition, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced today that members of the Oregon Medical Insurance Pool (OMIP) who have not yet enrolled in a different plan will be moved to a temporary insurance program that will allow them additional time to find new health care coverage. Information about the new Temporary Medical Insurance Pool that startsJan. 1 is available at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OPHP/TMIP/Pages/default.aspx.

"It is important that members of the Oregon Medical Insurance Pool do not have a gap in coverage,” said Tina Edlund, acting director of the Oregon Health Authority.

The actions today also give a little more time to communicate with people during a very confusing period. 

Phone calls to Cover Oregon and OHA call centers have been increasing as people try to learn where they are in the system. Cover Oregon is increasing the outreach to everyone who has applied so they will know the status of their application. OHA will also be doing special outreach to current OMIP members to let them know about the new temporary program. Outreach will include recorded calls, live calls, emails and letters.

The Cover Oregon open enrollment period extends through March 31, 2014.

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