Oregon’s Health CO-OP Signs Up First Members


October 1, 2013 -- Things got started early Tuesday morning for Oregon’s Health CO-OP. Barely a few minutes past midnight, October 1, the first CO-OP members began signing on for health coverage that begins January 1.

Although coverage for these members won’t begin until January 1, 2014, the applications signaled the inaugural day of the exchanges developed under the Affordable Care Act, and was worthy of celebration.

“We’re excited,” said Ralph Prows, MC, Oregon’s Health CO-OP CEO. “Cover Oregon should be congratulated. It is terrific that consumers have many, many options and predictable coverage security.”

Oregon’s health CO-OP is one of two Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans in Oregon, and one of 24 nationally, authorized and governed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While Congress may be stalemated over the Affordable Care Act, Oregon has gone all in, with the Cover Oregon online marketplace offering insurance plans from 11 different companies.

Although Oregonians will not be able to sign up directly through Cover Oregon until later this month—a planned delay to assure that the complex computer-assisted process is fully bug-free—they can apply through insurance brokers, Cover Oregon’s community partners or directly on the CO-OP’s website,ohcoop.orgCoverOregon.com is available now to locate a community partner or to review plan options.

“It’s great that we can include among these options our SiMPLE plans, designed by and for Oregonians, that provide broad coverage including preventive care, acupuncture and a broad network of hospitals and doctors, including qualified naturopathic primary care physicians, with none of the coverage surprises that that have plagued Oregonians in the past,” Dr. Prows said. “Long live Oregonians!”

To continue the celebration, Oregon’s Health CO-OP will host a launch party at Pioneer Courthouse Square, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. The event will feature music, activities and information about the Affordable Care Act and Oregon’s Health CO-OP. Updates on the celebration are being posted at www.facebook.com/OregonsHealthCOOP.

For information, contact Jeanie Lunsford.



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