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170,000 Oregonians Have Insurance Under Affordable Care Act

The day after the deadline to secure health insurance coverage this month, about 170,000 Oregonians have found insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Gov. John Kitzhaber praised the number saying Oregonians won’t let barriers become blockades.

But the lion’s share of enrollees — about 115,000 — made an end run around the troubled Cover Oregon website and enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan directly.  That’s the state’s version of Medicaid

About 55,000 others did use the website, but with the help of a navigator. They secured either private insurance or a place on the Oregon Health Plan.

The state lowered its estimates for the number of people who’d enroll for private insurance by January — from about 30,000 to 20,000.

Other states have seen similar reductions.

But authorities say it’s too soon to know whether that’s because of problems with the law, or problems with the roll-out.

People still have until the end of March to find new insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

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