Crash and burn.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A month after Oregon’s problem-plagued online health insurance marketplace has failed to enroll a single person, concerns are mounting that some of the most vulnerable Oregonians may face a break in coverage if they don’t enroll within the next month and a half.
To date, the state has received just 4,260 paper applications as part of the national health care overhaul law, and the Cover Oregon website still can’t tell people what subsidies they are eligible to receive.
Though Cover Oregon officials say they’re working to resolve the problems, they declined to name a date when they expect the website will be functional and they could not explain how they plan to enroll thousands of people within a short time span. Oregon has an estimated 600,000 uninsured, though officials say about 200,000 are expected to sign up through 2014.
The situation is most dire for about 11,000 Oregonians who are part of the state’s high-risk insurance pool — a program for those rejected by private insurance carriers because of pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or severe heart conditions.
These sickest of residents will see the state’s insurance pool dissolve by year’s end, because denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions is no longer allowed under the Affordable Care Act.
If they don’t meet a Dec. 15 deadline to enroll, they will find themselves without health insurance on Jan. 1.