EUGENE, Ore. — It’s been three weeks since the Cover Oregon site launched, and millions of Oregonians still aren’t able to enroll in health care coverage.
The Cover Oregon site still isn’t fully developed. If you go to it, you can go through the first steps of exploring potential health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. But that’s about all you can do at this point.
Cover Oregon leaders say that’s a result of some kinks they still need to work out on the site.
On Oct. 1, every state was able to launch its own health coverage website under the Affordable Care Act. But that was only an option, not a requirement.
Twenty-one days later, Cover Oregon’s site is still not fully up and running.
“Our executive director, Rocky King, decided to not release the site to everyone until it’s up to his satisfaction,” said Michael Cox of Cover Oregon.
Cox says Oregonians can register online and shop for which plan they’d like to eventually choose, but they can’t actually enroll in those plans. The reason is the process to determine your eligibility for tax credits is at a standstill.
“That is in many ways the most complicated but also the most important part of the system, since that’s where we’re really going to help find that savings to help pay for your monthly premiums,” Cox said.
While the online application to enroll isn’t up yet, Cover Oregon says you can still register right now through a more traditional route.
“What you can do is submit a traditional application either through paper or electronic fillable PDF, and that’s really an application where we’re going to take and then manually determine your eligibility for plans,” Cox said.
Lane County Public Health Spokesman Jason Davis says Oregon received early funding for the program and was somewhat of a pilot program.
“We received more funding so that other states could learn from our process. And that’s partly responsible for you know why we’re seeing some glitches so to speak. That and when we got the funding, so we actually received some of the funding late,” Davis said.
Cox says their goal is to have the site up and running by the end of the month. He says that still gives people enough time to enroll, so they have benefits by Jan. 1.