Cover Oregon

Smith Warner Promotes Public Funding for Healthcare Study

A private study of the best way to provide universal healthcare in Oregon has foundered for lack of funds. The study was sanctioned in 2013 to rely on private funding; with little materializing, legislators such as Sen. Michael Dembrow and Rep. Barbara Smith Warner are asking for an extended deadline and public funding.

Two years ago, the Legislature authorized an examination of universal healthcare, but asked the private sector to pick up the tab. That effort foundered when donors -- and dollars -- failed to materialize.

Insurance Enrollments Still Down 50,000 Heading into Open Enrollment

Cover Oregon chairwoman Liz Baxter blasted the way the Oregon Health Authority chose Kentucky for its Medicaid site, noting that the move came without transparency or any input from her board or the public, much like earlier decisions.

he Insurance Division released some new numbers Friday showing marked improvement in the number of enrollees who have transferred over to healthcare.gov, but as many as 50,000 people currently served by Cover Oregon may see a lapse in coverage if they didn't pick an insurance plan by Dec. 15.

Democratic Veterans Expect Bipartisan Support for Top Health Policy Goals

Despite stronger majorities in both chambers for 2015, the top Democratic legislators in healthcare policy all say that they expect legislation on the biggest issues, such as Cover Oregon, marijuana and public health, to attract broad support. But other legislation which couldn’t overcome partisan hurdles in previous sessions, such as the Toxics Disclosure Act, should get the green light now.

The 2014 election has left Oregon Democrats with a much easier time pushing progressive legislation but at least for now healthcare policy leaders in the Legislature say they plan to aim for an agenda that will draw bipartisan support, much like the 2013 session.

 

Cover Oregon Board Takes Little Action Before Nov. 15 Open Enrollment

The Cover Oregon board voted to cancel its November meeting and appears ready to hand over the keys to the insurance exchange to legislators, who have vowed to fold the remaining state insurance exchange functions into the Insurance Division or the Oregon Health Authority.

The Cover Oregon board met Thursday at the Oregon Medical Association in Tigard in what felt like an increasingly resigned, lame-duck air, as the sand runs out of the hourglass on the state’s flopped effort to operate it

Q&A with Cover Oregon Director Aaron Patnode

Cover Oregon’s latest director, Aaron Patnode, sat down with The Lund Report this week and gave insights into how the state could operate a SHOP exchange while avoiding more IT catastrophes. He maintained that Cover Oregon still has important functions despite the shift of enrollment responsibilities for health insurance on the individual marketplace to the federal government website, healthcare.gov. The Cover Oregon board meets again on Oct. 9 to continue the debate on the future of the marketplace.

The Lund Report: Let’s start off the top with the most pressing issue for Oregon consumers. How prepared will the exchange be for Oregonians to re-enroll through healthcare.gov on November 15?

State Punts Medicaid Enrollment to Federal Website with Cover Oregon

State Punts Federal Enrollment to Federal Website with Cover Oregon
State official Tina Edlund told legislators Monday that the state has given up trying to conduct most enrollments for the Oregon Health Plan itself. Like the private insurance consumers, low-income Oregonians will be directed to healthcare.gov to get coverage. Cover Oregon Director Aaron Patnode also explained that a recent error means consumers with certain subsidized insurance plans will owe about $20 more than they were first told.

The state is backing away from any involvement with new Obamacare health enrollments come Nov.

Bates Wants Remaining Cover Oregon Functions Moved to Insurance Division

Bates Wants to Move Cover Oregon to Insurance Divison
Sen. Alan Bates, D-Medford, said a bill ending Cover Oregon and moving its remaining functions and work with the insurance marketplace into the Oregon Insurance Division, will likely be the first law enacted by the 2015 session.

Even as the Cover Oregon board dawdled last week on a decision on where to operate the remaining functions of the state insurance exchange, another leading Democratic senator is saying p

Cover Oregon Director Faces Legislators

Both the Senate and House Interim Committees on Health Care and Human Services hold meetings in Salem next Monday.

Legislators get their first chance to pry into what’s going on inside Cover Oregon when Aaron Patnode, executive director, appears before the Senate Interim Committee on Health Care and Human Services on Monday morning. Later that day, he’ll also respond to questions from the House committee.

Cover Oregon to Decide Whether to Scrap Independent Agency

The remaining state functions of the insurance exchange, much of which has already been handed off to the federal government for 2015, could be housed in the insurance division or the health authority for plan year 2016. The board voted Thursday to retain a limited role for Oregon as a state-based marketplace beyond next year.

The Cover Oregon board should decide as early as next Thursday whether to keep its public corporation alive or if its work will be folded into a state agency such as the Oregon Insurance Division or the Oregon Health Authority.

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