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Oregon's Health Exchange May Get A 'Special Enrollment Period'

OPB | March 13, 2014 4:33 p.m. | Updated: March 27, 2014 10:50 a.m. | Portland

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Enrollment in Oregon’s new health insurance exchange is scheduled to close at the end of this month. But Cover Oregon is optimistic some kind of ‘special enrollment period’ may be permitted.

Cover Oregon’s interim director Bruce Goldberg says the governor has been talking to Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and because of problems surrounding Cover Oregon’s website, the state may be granted a “special enrollment period.”

Goldberg says it’s not an extension, but a “special enrollment period,” and the details have yet to be finalized.

“Before we can work out those details I don’t think it’s possible to announce that enrollment is expanded for April and I think right now and for anybody in the room and anybody listening I think the message is pretty clear: ‘Get your applications in now,’” said Goldberg.

Cover Oregon is looking at four possible fixes for the agency’s troubled website:  Those include keeping the current website going; borrowing new technology from another state, or from the feds; and finally, buying a new website to replace the current system. 

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