On Friday, Cover Oregon, the troubled ObamaCare health exchange, began robocalls to applicants, warning them, that if they haven’t heard from the exchange by Monday, they should seek health insurance elsewhere. With less than two weeks until the mandated January 1st deadline for individuals to have health insurance, the exchange’s late warning may cause gaps in coverage.
“If you haven’t heard from us by Dec. 23, it is unlikely your application will be processed for Jan. 1 insurance coverage,” the pre-recorded call from Cover Oregonsays. “If you want to be sure you have insurance coverage starting Jan. 1, you have other options.”
These options include going directly to an insurance agent or broker, but this route makes the applicant ineligible for tax credits and subsidies. Without these credits, many people will not be able to afford the new health insurance premiums.
It is the latest setback for Oregon’s exchange, which was an early adopter of ObamaCare exchanges and had ambitions to be a model for other states. The state was one of just a handful who received special funds from the federal government to be an “early innovator.”
Applicants to the CoverOregon exchange still can’t enroll over the website. They can browse policies, but must apply with paper applications.
The Executive Director of CoverOregon took medical leave from his post earlier this month. Carolyn Lawson, the official who oversaw development of the exchange and its website resigned earlier this week.