Oregon’s state-based health insurance exchange will launch on October1 as planned, but state residents will not initially be able to enroll in coverage on their own. Oregon is the first to announce a delay to its exchange, prompting concerns that other states might also be struggling to finish work on their exchanges before open enrollment begins.
Under the Affordable Care Act, open enrollment in the exchanges begins October 1 to allow U.S. residents to begin signing up for coverage. Oregon is one of 14 jurisdictions that will run its own exchange.
Officials at Cover Oregon, the state’s health exchange, said that the state would limit access to the new website for two to four weeks to address complications and continue to beta-test the website. However, residents will still be able to shop for plans and enroll in coverage but will need to visit a trained agents office or find one willing to come to their house to log on to the system.
Cover Oregon said it will list agents and community partners who can help individuals enroll in coverage. Officials say they have trained about 1,000 agents and 800 community partners to help individuals enroll in coverage. Agents will receive commissions for helping customers, but customers will not have to pay a fee for the service.