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State reports slight dip in fall health care coverage enrollment

Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace

State says that may be due to more people covered through workplace

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- More than 145,000 Oregonians signed up for health plans for 2020 through HealthCare.gov, officials said Friday. The figure is down a bit, but officials said that could be seen as a good sign that they have jobs and coverage through their employer.

During the 45-day-long open enrollment period in November/December, people can buy health insurance for the upcoming year and many receive subsidies through HealthCare.gov established by the Affordable Care Act.

“In many cases, Oregonians whose health and future might have been in jeopardy because they did not have access to insurance find that the plans and subsidies available through HealthCare.gov help make insurance more affordable for them,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov.

Oregon’s uninsured rate has dropped almost 11% since 2009. About 94% of Oregonians and 98% of Oregon children have health insurance.

“Oregonians will receive the care they need and live longer, better lives because of the work done by the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace,” said Lou Savage, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, the state’s largest consumer protection and business regulatory agency, of which the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is a part.

This year’s enrollment of 145,264 Oregonians is a 2% decrease from last year’s 148,180.

Asked by NewsChannel 21 why the number who enrolled declined, Lea Andrews, a spokeswoman for the DCBS, shared this statement:

"While there is no perfect way to measure what might have caused the slight decrease in insurance enrollment through healthcare.gov this year, a strong job market and economy may play a part.

"The increase in Oregonians who have health care over the last 10 years could also be a contributing factor."

"While we are monitoring the numbers and trying to find ways to best serve Oregonians who need health insurance, this 2% decrease is not alarming. We are excited to be able to help more than 145,000 Oregonians sign up for health insurance."

For those who helped Oregonians find health insurance through the Marketplace this year, their job is not complete.

“Our focus now that open enrollment is over is to remind Oregonians who signed up for coverage that they must pay their premium when they receive their January bill, in order to make their coverage effective,” said Flowers. “In addition, though open enrollment for 2020 is now closed, Oregonians who experience life changes such as losing job-covered insurance or Medicaid, becoming pregnant, or getting married may qualify for a special enrollment period.”

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace helps Oregonians get coverage and financial assistance through HealthCare.gov. It is a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.

About DCBS: The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

News / Oregon-Northwest

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