A major health care overhaul begins on Jan. 1, but it’s proven to be a big pain for many Oregonians.
Some people say they won’t have insurance in the New Year, despite their attempts to enroll in Cover Oregon.
“I have spent a total of four hours on hold to no avail. I had a contracted insurance broker submit the application for me on December 4th but have never received a packet,” one viewer wrote to KATU in an email. “So frustrating as I really need coverage ASAP.”
“I was in their system on every other call today. Now I am not,” another man wrote in an email to KATU. “I am disabled and need my insurance!”
Another man, Bob Kikes, began the enrollment process back in October. He applied in mid-November and didn’t receive his packet for a few weeks. Then, when he tried to pick a health plan online, he received error messages. So, he submitted his choices via fax and express mail to make sure it arrived.
“I spent so much time on the phone, I had to switch cordless phones because phones would go dead,” Kikes said. “I was very concerned that I would be without coverage.”
On Monday, just a day before he would lose his current health insurance, he received his insurance card.
“I feel very lucky for myself, but I feel very sorry for some people,” Kikes said. “I know of people personally that don’t have insurance.”
Cover Oregon extended the deadline to Jan. 6 for people to pick a plan but who are already eligible for coverage on Jan. 1. Cover Oregon spokesman Michael Cox said people who have already enrolled and picked a plan should’t worry if they haven’t heard from their insurer yet.
“If you’ve submitted your enrollment stuff, we are still transmitting data to carriers,” said Cox. “The carriers will be in contact.”
There is still no estimate or timeline for when the online enrollment system will work but an end-of-the-year report should be released next week.
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