What Is Cover Oregon?
By now you’ve probably heard that Cover Oregon opened for business on October 1, 2013. But do you know what it is?
In the simplest terms… Cover Oregon is the health insurance marketplace created by the State of Oregon where Oregonians can apply for and shop for health insurance coverage much like you’d shop for a flight online.
Cover Oregon (at www.CoverOregon.com) was created as a requirement from the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in 2010. Many people call this act “Obamacare“… whatever you want to call it… it’s main purpose is to open up quality health care and insurance for more people.
Cover Oregon, Oregon’s state health insurance marketplace launched on October 1, 2013. There are still a few glitches to work out, which means that enrolling online for a plan by yourself is not an option during these first few weeks of October. But they plan to have that fixed around the end of the month or early November.
That being said, there are some other features on Cover Oregon’s site available to you right now that can help you make the best healthcare decisions for yourself, your family and if your an employer, for your employees as well. For example, you are now able to select and compare specific plans side-by-side so you can easily spot differences and similarities between them.
Here is a quick video that will show you how to browse and compare plans on Cover Oregon.
View this video on YouTube, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnd2evYNw90
In this 10-minute video walkthrough of the Cover Oregon site you’ll learn how to use Cover Oregon’s site to:
1. Get free help finding and enrolling in the health insurance plan that fits your needs. *For an in-depth look at how to locate and contact a local agent in your area, or get help from certified experts, please check out this video walkthrough: http://oregonhealthanswers.org/cover-oregon-launch-video-walkthrough/
2. Estimate your potential financial savings on health care premiums. *Note: This is just an estimate at the moment. Cover Oregon is working on a glitch in the system that has to do with accurately determining whether or not someone is actually eligible for subsidies.
3. Browse and compare plans and insurance companies in the exchange. (As mentioned in the video, some insurance companies provide in-depth details of their plans on their own websites, as an example we took the information off of the ATRIO Health Plans website and put it here for you to take a look: ATRIO Health Plans Plan Details)
And if you are still a little confused about what Cover Oregon is, here the answers to a few frequently asked questions:
So Is Cover Oregon An Insurance Company?
Nope. Cover Oregon is kind of like a “grocery store” for health insurance.
Oregon health insurance companies who decide to offer insurance plans through Cover Oregon submit their plans and their pricing to Cover Oregon.
Every health insurance company who chooses to offer insurance through Cover Oregon has to offer similar “standard” plans as outlined by the Affordable Care Act law. (go here to learn about the Cover Oregon plans that are available on the Cover Oregon website now)
Then, you apply… and based off of some information like age, number of people in your family to be insured, etc… you’ll land on a page inside of Cover Oregon where you can browse your insurance options, see prices, and pick the plan that works the best for you.
Again, it’s kind of like going online to book a flight through an online travel site.
Do I Have To Buy Health Insurance Through Cover Oregon?
No. If you already have health insurance you can keep the insurance provider you have if you want. But, the Federal payment subsidies (that help pay for all or part of your health insurance monthly premium payments) are only offered to people who purchase insurance through the Cover Oregon website.
When Can I Apply To Cover Oregon?
The Cover Oregon health insurance marketplace officially opened October 1st, 2013. However, you will not be able to enroll online until closer to the end of October or early November. You will have until
December 15 (*Changed) December 4th to enroll in a plan for it to be effective January 1, 2014. As the video above mentions, Cover Oregon does has free help in the form of certified agents, community partners and specialists to help you enroll in the plan that best suits your needs. There are a few options available to you right now. You can apply:
- On your own - Click here to learn about the paper application. Submit it online, or print it out and mail or fax it to Cover Oregon. You can also call 1-855-CoverOR (1-855-268-3767) to request an application.
- Through a certified insurance agent or community partner, at no cost to you. Find a searchable list of partners in your area at CoverOregon.com.
- At an Application Fair near you. Register online today to attend a Cover Oregon Application Fair in Bend, Portland or Salem from November 21 – 25.
As part of the new Affordable Care Act, you’re required to have health insurance by January 2014. So if you don’t have health insurance and you want to see what plans, prices, and payment assistance are available through Cover Oregon, mark your calendar, AND join our Email Notification List. We’ll send you email reminders of the dates and when you can enroll.
If you live in Douglas, Klamath, Marion or Polk county and are looking for plans for yourself and your family, be sure to check out what ATRIO Health Plans has to offer by clicking here. If you need help, they would be glad to answer your questions and help you along the process. Click here to contact them.
*EMPLOYERS- Be sure to check out the sneak peek video walkthrough for Small Business. It gives a much more in-depth look at what Cover Oregon has to offer for small businesses. Click here to see the video: http://oregonhealthanswers.org/cover-oregon-small-business-sneak-peek-video-walkthrough/
Also, if you own or operate a small business in Douglas, Klamath, Marion or Polk county, ATRIO Health Plans has volunteered to schedule a one-on-one information meeting to help you navigate these complicated healthcare changes and help you find the best coverage for your needs.
To request a meeting click here:
What Should I Do Next?
Great question. Glad you asked.
The next step you should take, now that you know what Cover Oregon is… is to get any questions answered that you’re still unclear on.
- What is the paper application and where do I download it?
- What plans will Cover Oregon offer?
- What government payment assistance do I qualify for? (see our calculator)
- What if I already have health insurance? How will this affect me and my CURRENT insurance?
- How does the Affordable Care Act affect me if I’m a small business owner in Oregon?
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