What Is Cover Oregon?
Most recent update: July 15, 2014
By now you’ve probably heard that Cover Oregon opened for business on October 1, 2013. There were many technological glitches in the system that kept it from becoming what was originally envisioned.
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.
In the simplest terms… Cover Oregon is the health insurance marketplace created by the State of Oregon where Oregonians were supposed to be able to apply for and shop for health insurance coverage much like you’d shop for a flight online.
However, due to the problems they were facing, the Cover Oregon Board of Directors decided to stop further development on the website for private health insurance. Now that the open enrollment period for 2014 has officially ended, Cover Oregon is now transitioning so that it can use the federal exchange technology to sign up for private plans.
That being said, there are still 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.
1. Get free help finding and enrolling in the health insurance plan that fits your needs - You can find many agents and partners who are there to help you take the next step in regards to your health insurance.
2. Fill out an application - The open enrollment period has closed for 2014, but you can still apply for health insurance and enroll if you experience certain qualifying event. Read more about what to do now that the open enrollment period has ended here: http://oregonhealthanswers.org/open-enrollment-ended-cover-oregon-now-what/
3. Browse and compare plans and insurance companies in the exchange. (This may not be the most up to date information, however. To be sure, visit the website of the insurance company you are interested in. 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 choose the plan that is right for you and apply.
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, 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 Cover Oregon.
When Can I Apply To Cover Oregon?
The Cover Oregon health insurance marketplace officially opened October 1st, 2013. The 2014 extended enrollment period ended on April 30, 2014. Unless you experience certain “qualifying events’ you will have to wait until the start of the next enrollment period, November 15, 2014, to apply again. At that time, the soonest your coverage would start is January, 2015.
Read more about what to do now that the open enrollment period has ended here: http://oregonhealthanswers.org/open-enrollment-ended-cover-oregon-now-what/
An individual, according to the Affordable Care Act, you were required to have health insurance by April 30, 2014 to avoid potential tax penalties. . 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.
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. Be sure to sign up for our guides and read the articles we have published here on OregonHealthAnswers.org. We are here to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information so that you can make the best health care decisions for your self, your family and, if you are an employer, your employees as well.
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