What now for Oregonians still looking to get health insurance?

What now for Oregonians still looking to get health insurance?

What do Oregonians without insurance need to know now that Gov. John Kitzhaber has admitted that the Cover Oregon website likely won't work by the March 31st deadline?

Late yesterday, Kitzhaber said in a statement, "It has become increasingly clear that we may not be able to have the public portion of the website operational for the current enrollment period."  

All Oregonians are supposed to be signed up for insurance coverage by March 31, 2014.  But now, the governor is asking the federal government for an extension into April. If approved, the state would create a special enrollment period to get any remaining folks signed up and qualified for tax credits.

But the Problem Solvers' advice to you: Don't wait. Use the community partners and agents listed on the Cover Oregon website and sign up now.

"Going through a community partner agent is free to the consumer," says Michael Cox, spokesperson for Cover Oregon. "You can do so at no additional cost."    

By using the services of an agent or community partner, you'll likely be enrolled within days. If you do it yourself and mail in your application, the process could take weeks.

In the meantime, what does the future hold for the struggling website?

"We continue to work on it and make fixes,"  says Cox.

When asked if Cover Oregon would consider scraping the website and moving to the federal marketplace, Cox replied, "Our alternatives analysis is comprehensive, but we're going to bring together a group to study each alternative and reach a decision."

When pressed, Cox conceded, " Everything is possible."

As of today, Oregon has enrolled 123,797 people through the website. Another 128,434 residents were fast-tracked through the Oregon Health Plan for a total of 252,231 people. In Washington, a total of 761,659 have enrolled through the state's marketplace.