Cover Oregon Holds Application Fair

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EUGENE, Ore. — Cover Oregon representatives were in Eugene on Thursday to help people fill out applications for health insurance policies through Cover Oregon.

For some, the fair brought in opportunities and hope for those currently uninsured. But others attending the fair left in frustration after finding out their insurance options they currently have won’t be offered any longer.

During the last few months, the Cover Oregon website has had its ups and downs. A month and a half after its launch, online enrollment still isn’t possible.

“It’s not but that’s why we’re here today we’re helping people look at plans available, they can actually look at plans on the website right now, though they can’t necessarily enroll in that plan but they can look at what plans are available in their area and what they might be able to enroll in,” said Ariane Holm, Cover Oregon spokesperson.

But the website isn’t the only thing facing ups and downs with these insurance changes.

“I found out things that I want to jump for joy,” said Redmond resident Cyril Piwetz.

“It’s just frustrating and confusing,” said Creswell resident Robert Bolanos.

For one Redmond resident, the health care exchange qualifies him for insurance, something he hasn’t had for years since losing his job after a motorcycle crash.

“I had to take a subpar job, and it’s been a hardship,” Piwetz said.

But for others, the new insurance marketplace doesn’t offer added benefits, only problems.

“I’m self-employed, so I’m also self-insured. I got a notice from my insurance company a couple few weeks ago letting me know that there’s drastic changes to my policy, that basically the policy I carry right now for my family is being cancelled,” Bolanos said.

Whether supportive of Cover Oregon or not, both say the process hasn’t been ideal.

“Several times the system told me I qualified for the Oregon Health Plan as a self-employed, self-insured person. I want to pay for my insurance. I don’t want free health care, and I don’t want the Oregon Health Plan for my family, so just trying to sort that information out,” Bolanos said.

“I started the application process a couple months ago, and because I didn’t have Internet Explorer I couldn’t follow through because you need in order to do Cover Oregon. You have to have the Internet Explorer, and I had Firefox,” Piwetz said.

Cover Oregon says anyone interested in getting insurance through their program must send in an application by Dec. 4 in order to get insurance Jan. 1.

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