Health | Local | Vital Signs

Oregonians Can Keep Their Old Health Care Plans For Another Year

OPB | Nov. 15, 2013 4:22 p.m. | Updated: Jan. 3, 2014 2:17 p.m. | Portland

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Oregon’s insurance commissioner is giving insurance companies the option to extend their health plans through the end of next year, even if they don’t comply with the federal health care law.

The decision comes in response to President Obama’s announcement that federal regulators would allow states to decide whether insurers could extend plans.

Oregon Insurance Commission spokeswoman, Cheryl Martinis, says it’s now up to customers whether to stick with their old plan or get one that’s compliant with the Affordable Care Act. But she says they need to think things through, “Many people will find the new plans have more benefits,” she said.

“And many, many Oregonians  will qualify for tax subsidies to pay for those plans. And so if you want federal subsidies to lower those costs, you do need to buy a new plan and you do need to apply through Cover Oregon as soon as possible.”

Cover Oregon is having technical problems with its website. It’s asking people to use paper applications instead.

Washington’s insurance commissioner announced Thursday that he would not allow insurance companies to extend their policies.

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