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Cover Oregon Seeks To Educate Businesses About Health Exchange

OPB | July 24, 2013 1:45 p.m. | Updated: Jan. 3, 2014 2:20 p.m.

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Oregon’s new health care exchange says it’s about to hand out three-quarters-of-a-million dollars in grants to help small businesses learn about their health insurance options under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Cover Oregon is the state’s new online health insurance marketplace. It opens in October and businesses with 50 or fewer employees will be able to use it to shop for insurance.

Marisa O’Brien of Cover Oregon says it’s already running mass media advertising to let individuals know about the exchange. But the group wants to give three to five businesses associations up to $150,000 each to educate small businesses. The question is how?

“We’re not exactly sure,” O’Brien says. “We want them to put together the plan that they think is best going to reach their target members. I would anticipate it would be more face-to-face — one-on-one individual meetings, those kind of activities.” 

She says Cover Oregon would be happy if 60,000 small business employees got their coverage through the new exchange in the first year.

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