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Update: Individual Health Insurance Landscape in Oregon

Update: Individual Health Insurance Landscape in Oregon

Posted Oct 03, 2014 by Jenifer Dorsey

In Oregon, the individual health insurance landscape continues to change. The state elected to run its own health insurance exchange for 2014, Obamcare’s first open-enrollment period. While Cover Oregon started out as promising and earned national recognition for its catchy multimedia marketing campaign Long Live Oregonians, the state-based exchange soon got labeled a disaster due to persistent website issues made enrollment difficult.1

Cover Oregon may be, as written on Kaiser Health News, “widely regarded as the worst-functioning state exchange,” but come 2015 open enrollment, it will be no more. In late April 2014, Cover Oregon’s board of directors voted unanimously (7-0) to move to the federal health insurance exchange platform, HealthCare.gov.2
Latest Cover Oregon health insurance enrollment numbers
As of July 7, 2014, enrollment numbers for Cover Oregon were as follows3:

  • Private health insurance enrollments: 92,606
  • Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) enrollments: 227,302
  • Total medical enrollments: 319,908
  • Private dental insurance enrollments: 18,416

After cancellations and terminations, the net enrollments remaining in the Cover Oregon system as of July 7, 2014, were as follows:

  • Net private medical: 82,627
  • Net private dental: 15,326

These numbers are for Cover Oregon exchange enrollments only and do not include those who purchased private health insurance or enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan away from the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange.CoverOregon.com notes that all numbers are estimated and in a constant process of reconciliation throughout the year.
Oregon health insurance carriers on and off the exchange
Numerous health insurance carriers sell major medical plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act on and off the exchange. These companies are as follows:
2014 Cover Oregon exchange carriers

  • Atrio Health Plans
  • BridgeSpan Health
  • Health Net
  • Health Republic
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • LifeWise
  • Moda Health
  • Oregon’s Health CO-OP
  • Pacific Source
  • Providence Health Plan
  • Trillium4

2014 private marketplace carriers (off the exchange)

  • Assurant Health
  • Health Net
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon
  • PacificSource Health Plans
  • Providence Health Plans
  • Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon5

Carriers selling on and off the Cover Oregon exchange are subject to change in 2015.
How can Oregonians who missed 2014 open enrollment get health insurance?
The 2014 Obamacare open-enrollment period ended March 30, 2014. However, it may still be possible to obtain health insurance coverage outside open enrollment.
Oregonians (and others) with qualifying life events may be eligible for a special enrollment period in which they may purchase ACA-compliant health insurance on and off the Cover Oregon exchange. Those who qualify for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) may enroll year-round.
Visit CoverOregon.com or contact a health insurance agent to determine whether or not you qualify for special enrollment.
Those who need temporary health insurance coverage until their ACA-compliant 2015 health insurance plan begins can visit healthedeals.com to learn more, get a quick quote, and apply and enroll within a few minutes—coverage begins as early as the next day.
Note: Temporary health insurance plans are not ACA-compliant and will not prevent you from owing a tax penalty; however, they do offer benefits to help pay for unexpected medical expenses related to accidents and illnesses.
Call 888-839-7679 to talk to a healthedeals.com health insurance agent about your temporary health insurance options. Our agents can also explain to you the benefits and costs of ACA-compliant health insurance plans available to you on the exchange, help you through the enrollment process, determine if you are eligible for a subsidy, and help you find health insurance plans away from the exchange if you are not eligible for a subsidy or determine that exchange-based health insurance is not right for you.

1 Kaiser Health News. “Oregon to Join Federal Health Insurance Exchange.” April 26, 2014.
2 La Ganga, Maria L. “Oregon Scraps State Health Insurance Exchange.” Los Angeles Times. April 25, 2014.
3 Cover Oregon. “Update: Private Coverage and Oregon Health Plan Enrollment Through Cover Oregon.” July 7, 2014.
4 Cover Oregon. “Participating Insurance Companies.” N.D.
5 U.S. News & World Report. “Oregon Health Insurance: Private Health Insurers in Oregon.” Last updated June 12, 2014.

Jenifer Dorsey is a freelance writer whose specialties include health and fitness, wellness, sports and recreation. She is a competitive amateur track cyclist who also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, camping and other outdoor adventure. Jenifer received a B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and is an MFA candidate at Naropa University. She lives in Colorado.