Cover Oregon

Cover Oregon Gives Up on Online Portal, Sticking to Improvised System

Cover Oregon
The state insurance exchange will not have its promised one-stop shop available to consumers by the end of open enrollment this month, relying instead on the help of insurance agents and the U.S. Postal Service to sign people up for private health plans. One insurance agent said he could get people signed up in as little as 15 minutes.

Cover Oregon has given up on having a fully functional website by the end of open enrollment on March 31.

“We do not intend to launch the portal this month,” said Aaron Karjala, the Cover Oregon chief information officer. “The runway to getting the enrollments is too short. We can’t be assured it will improve our performance to get us to maximum enrollment.”

Cover Oregon Ignores Small Employers, Tax Credits in Jeopardy

Last October, the exchange gave $604,000 in grants to business associations as a way of educating small employers about the SHOP program so they could qualify for tax credits.

With all the discussion about the beleaguered Cover Oregon website, small employers have fallen off the radar screen. They had expected to qualify for tax credits this year, worth up to 50 percent of their health insurance costs. Now, faced with a tumultuous roll-out, the small business exchange program appears to be on life support.

Oregon House Passes Cover Oregon Reforms on 56-2 Vote

The House passed a bill that would seek relief for small businesses who were denied subsidies because of the failed SHOP program and asks the federal government to extend open enrollment through April.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect the passage of HB 4122 and SB 1582, as well as decisions from the federal government regarding changes in health insurance policy.

Rep. Betty Komp, a Woodburn Democrat and the House Speaker Pro Tempore, added a personal touch as she explained the need to make Cover Oregon work.

Conger Gets Two Amendments Approved Casting Daylight on Cover Oregon

Cover Oregon logo
Rep. Mitch Greenlick agrees to adopt two amendments from Rep. Jason Conger that will make clear that the public can get copies of the First Data audit and will require the Cover Oregon director to provide demographic data to the Legislature. The amendments have been attached to a bill from Regence BlueCross BlueShield that will help the insurer save costs on supplies to diabetic women.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, agreed with two amendments from Republican Rep. Jason Conger of Bend on Monday that aim to provide the public with more daylight into the operations of Cover Oregon.

Cover Oregon Bill Passes Health Committee with Few Alterations

The Lund Report
The committee’s Republican members failed to make major amendments to House Bill 4154 which included shutting down the insurance exchange and expediting an audit from the Secretary of State. Meanwhile, money from a lapsed premium tax should be able to cover the three-month extension of the high-risk pool.

The House Health Committee unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that seeks to mitigate the problems consumers have faced in obtaining health insurance because of the disastrous rollout of the state insurance exchange, Cover Oregon.

Democratic Plans Extend Open Enrollment, Offer Subsidies Outside Exchange

The Lund Report
The governing Democrats debated their plans to fix Cover Oregon with rival Republicans, who had their own ideas of what to do about the health insurance exchange debacle that has cast doubt on the state’s ability to deliver affordable healthcare as promised.

The House Health Committee debated Democratic plans to salvage the Cover Oregon insurance exchange yesterday, hearing several items that would require approval from the federal government to help Oregonians benefit from Obamacare who have been frustrated by the catastrophic rollout of the insurance exchange.

Steiner Hayward Wants to Let Parents Take Kids Out of OHP and onto Cover Oregon

The Lund Report
Senate Bill 1526 would order the state to seek a federal waiver to let Oregon redirect money from coordinated care organizations to private insurance companies and help bail out Cover Oregon by allowing it to collect a commission.

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, released a bill Tuesday that could allow parents who qualify for Cover Oregon subsidies to take their kids out of the Oregon Health Plan and instead buy subsidized insurance on the exchange for them.

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