Oregonians have until April 30 to apply for health insurance through Cover Oregon to avoid a potential federal tax penalty for not having health insurance. Applications must be submitted to Cover Oregon with a postmark no later than Wednesday, April 30.
After April 30, people who want to purchase private health insurance have to wait until Jan. 1, 2015 for coverage. People who have certain changes in their lives may be able to purchase insurance before then. Those eligible for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) can enroll year-round, though they may be subject to the federal tax penalty if they don’t apply by April 30.
“More than 240,000 Oregonians have enrolled in health insurance through Cover Oregon,” said Amy Fauver, Chief Communications Officer for Cover Oregon. “We want to be sure people know that they can get covered, and that they should apply as soon as possible in order to avoid a last-minute rush.”
Nearly 80 percent of people who have enrolled in private plans have gotten some sort of financial help in the form of tax credits or cost-sharing assistance. A family of four earning up to $94,200 may qualify for financial help, and a family of four earning up to $32,928 may qualify for no-cost coverage through OHP. If people are not sure what they might be eligible for, they can visit CoverOregon.com to browse plans.
There are several ways Oregonians can apply for health insurance through Cover Oregon:
• Make an appointment with a certified insurance agent or community partner who can help you enroll in a plan free of charge, and in one sitting
• Fill out an online PDF application and submit it to Cover Oregon electronically, or by fax or mail (application must be postmarked by April 30)
• Attend an enrollment event hosted by a community partner in your area.
People may qualify for an exemption from the requirement to have health insurance and a list of these exemptions can be found at www.CoverOregon.com.
The next open enrollment period through Cover Oregon begins Nov. 15, 2014 for coverage starting no sooner than Jan. 1, 2015.
If people have questions, they can visit CoverOregon.com or call the Cover Oregon Service Center at 855-268-3767, Mon.-Fri. from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sat.-Sun. from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.. A list of Q&As on the application deadline can also be found at CoverOregon.com.