Oregonians now have until April 30 to apply for private health insurance through the state's Cover Oregon exchange, the governor announced today.
Gov. John Kitzhaber extended the application period in response to technical problems that plagued the exchange's website, at times making online applications impossible.
His announcement comes a day after the Obama administration said it would allow people additional time to sign up in certain circumstances, including technology problems.
Under federal guidelines, each state may take its own approach to managing extended application periods. Oregon's extended application period is targeted to people purchasing private health insurance coverage either through Cover Oregon or directly from an insurance carrier, a news release from the governor's office said. People who purchase through Cover Oregon can access tax credits and other financial assistance. Oregonians who are eligible for the Oregon Health Plan or Healthy Kids can apply for coverage year round.
Oregonians can find an agent or community partner who can help them enroll in one sitting by visiting CoverOregon.com. They can also go to CoverOregon.com to find resources to apply, including an online PDF application they can submit electronically.
Those who apply for coverage from a private plan through Cover Oregon before April 30, then later enroll, won't face a potential federal tax penalty. People who apply and enroll in plans outside of Cover Oregon between April 1 and April 30 may have to pay a partial federal penalty.
The governor also announced an agreement between Cover Oregon and participating insurance companies that will help businesses with 50 or fewer employees get federal tax credits when they buy a certified plan.