Oregon Obamacare Enrollees Might Have To Wait For Coverage To Start

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The ongoing problems with Oregon’s state-based Obamacare website mean roughly 30,000 people who have applied for health coverage might not see it start on Jan. 1, 2014, as expected.

The Statesman Journal reported that about half of the 65,000 paper applications that the state has received — the move to paper was necessitated by the broken website — appear to be incomplete or have errors that prevent officials from processing them.

Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) had previously assured residents that if they submitted their paper applications by Dec. 4, their coverage would start on Jan. 1. But the website’s interim director acknowledged Tuesday that the state might not be able to pull that off. (The initial director of the Oregon Obamacare marketplace went on medical leave at the beginning of December.)

“This is not I think where anyone wanted to be,” Bruce Goldberg, interim director for Cover Oregon, told reporters. “It’s where we are, and we are going to work on getting through this to get everybody the coverage that they need.”

Goldberg also said that the state’s website might not be ready to relaunch until the end of January.

In a report released Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that just 44 Oregonians had enrolled in a private plan in October and November — by far the lowest figure among the 50 states.

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