Cheap Health Insurance in Oregon
Oregon medical insurance plans available online
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Cheap Health insurance in Oregon
- Oregon’s does have a state-run health insurance exchange but the enrollments are handled through HealthCare.gov.
- Open enrollment for 2019 coverage in Oregon ended on December 15, but enrollment for major medical plans is still available for Oregonians who have qualifying events.
- Oregon was able to immediately implement the Medicaid expansion with the help of federal funding.
- The average monthly premium increase in Oregon is roughly 7.3 percent.
- Short-term health insurance plans are available in Oregon with terms lengths of up to three months. Federal rules do not apply due to Oregon due to their stricter term length guidelines.
- There are currently five carriers that are offering 2019 coverage through the Oregon health exchange.
- A record number of Oregonians enrolled in 2018 coverage through the Oregon exchange.
All Information Submited on this website is Private and NOT Sold to Hundreds of Insurance Agents LIKE OTHER SITES.
As licensed agents certified with Healthcare.gov and the other state exchanges we can explain how the ACA works and let you know if tax credits and reduced premiums are available, and what health insurance will cost for you from the health exchange and on the private market circumventing the exchange. Buying off-exchange means you won’t get cost assistance, however, you will have better networks and more plan varieties to choose from.
Professionally licensed agents will answer your questions. Health and Life licenses held for OR, WA, CA, AZ, TX, MI, OH, PA, VA, NC, and SC.
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Oregon’s health insurance marketplace
Oregon does have a state-run exchange that uses the Healthcare.gov enrollment platform. Open enrollment for 2019 coverage year ended on December 15th, but enrollment for major medical plans are still possible for Oregonians who have qualifying events.
Five insurers that offered exchange plans for 2018 coverage are offering coverage for the 2019 year through the exchange. Two of the largest carriers, Kaiser and Pacificsource, have increased their coverage areas for 2019 as well. Two carriers, HealthNet and Regence, only offer plans outside of the exchange.
Individual health insurance premiums for 2019 were calculated to be 7.3 percent higher than last years rates during 2018. Many believe that those rate increases would be significantly lower if the individual mandate wasn’t being eliminated. However, it looks like the mandate is being reinstated for this upcoming year and Oregonians can expect to still require a qualifying plan in order to avoid the tax penalty.
Enrollment in private plans for the 2018 calendar year through Oregon’s exchange was over 156,000. That was substantially more than the number of people who had enrolled for 2017 and in far greater amounts of the people who had enrolled for 2016 coverage. It was also approximately 50 percent higher than enrollment in the 2014 enrollment year (back when Oregon’s exchange was not operating properly) and significantly greater than 2015’s enrollment year, when Oregon first started using HealthCare.gov and their application assistance.
Medicaid expansion in Oregon
Utilizing federal funds to expand Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of poverty has played a vital role in reducing the uninsured rate for many Oregonians. As of April of 2014, there were approximately 207,000 people enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP through the Oregon exchange. Which is more than three times as many individuals who had enrolled in private plans through Cover Oregon.
Oregon has seen some of the nation’s most dramatic increases in Medicaid enrollments under the ACA. From 2013 to the end of open enrollment of the 2017 calendar year, the average monthly enrollment in Oregon Medicaid grew 52 percent. Which is the tenth-highest increase in all state enrollments. Recently as of July 2018, over 963,000 Oregonians were covered by a Medicaid/CHIP program.
Oregon’s “Cover All Kids” law took effect in January of 2018, ensuring that all children under age of 19 with a combined household income up to 305 percent of the poverty level have access to Oregon Health Plan coverage, regardless of their income.
Oregon and the Affordable Care Act history (remember Cover Oregon?)
In 2010, both of Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden issued a yes vote on the Affordable Care Act. In the U.S. House, four out of the five Oregon Representatives were Democrats and voted in support of the new law. Greg Walden, a Republican, cast the only no vote and is still the lone Republican in Oregon’s congressional committee.
Under the administration of former Governor John Kitzhaber, a former physician who made healthcare and healthcare reform priorities throughout his years in public service, Oregon moved forward in the expansion of Medicaid and run its own exchange, known as Cover Oregon.
Overall the Medicaid expansion was successful in Oregon, but unfortunately, the state’s exchange rollout did not go so well. The online enrollment system was disrupted for months, and the exchange had to manually process thousands of paper applications.
In late April of 2014, the exchange board voted to utilize HealthCare.gov for enrollments instead of continuing to try to fix the broken website, and Oregon residents started using HealthCare.gov during the 2015 open enrollment period. They have continued to do so ever since, although the state is still considering the opportunity of eventually switching back to a state-run exchange platform.
Oregon’s exchange type is now recognized to be a federally supported state-based marketplace. The Cover Oregon platform is no longer operational. Consumers can use OregonHealthcare.gov to learn about the state’s exchange-based health plans and eligibility as well as federal and state guidelines to health insurance coverage. When the consumer is ready to apply and enroll, they are redirected to the federal marketplace website for their application process.
Back in 2013, only about 14 percent of Oregon residents did not have health insurance which was a little higher than the national average.
What is the history of Oregon’s health insurance industry?
Prior to the ACA becoming implemented, individual health insurance was a medically underwritten application process in Oregon, as it was in almost all states. Because medical history was a determining factor in eligibility for coverage, people with severe pre-existing conditions were often unable to purchase a policy on the private market. If they received an offer of coverage, it often included a considerable rate increase or issued an exclusion rider for pre-existing conditions.
In order to address this issue, the state formed the Oregon Medical Insurance Pool (OMIP) back in 1990 to provide an alternative option for those people who were unable to get private individual health insurance based on their circumstances.
Per the ACA’s new rules and guidelines, medical underwriting is no longer used in the individual health market applications. There is now no longer a need for state-run high-risk pools. Oregon had intended to discontinue OMIP at the end of 2013 but due to technical problems with the exchange, it made it difficult for OMIP members to transition into a new plan option. So Oregon answered by creating a temporary pool that provided coverage for current OMIP members for the first three months of 2014. That coverage was ended on March 31, 2014.
Medicare enrollment numbers in the state of Oregon
Oregon overall Medicare enrollments totaled over 835,000 people as of September of 2018. That’s almost 20 percent of its total population, compared to about 18 percent of the United States total population enrolled in Medicare.
Oregon has notable protections for Medigap enrollees, including the annual “birthday rule” enrollment period. Which states that a Medigap enrollee may switch to any Medigap plan with equal or lesser benefits, without the need for medical underwriting. The state also ensures access to Medigap plans for Medicare enrollees who are currently under the age of 65 (federal law only guarantees access when the enrollees are 65).
As of 2015, 14 percent of Medicare enrollees were enrolled as a result of a disability, while individuals who qualified for Medicare by their age alone made up the other 86 percent of Oregon Medicare recipients.
At $6,956 per member, the state has maintained below-average annual Medicare costs. As of 2014, Oregon ranked 23rd in overall Medicare costs with $6.5 billion in total Medicare expenses.
Approximately 45 percent of Oregon’s Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in one of the Medicare Advantage plans, versus the national average of 36 percent. As well as about 265,000 Oregon Medicare beneficiaries have enrolled stand-alone Medicare Part D plans.
Oregon state health reform legislation and bills
The state of Oregon has had some impressive healthcare legislation in recent years, including the passage of a bill that requires the state to request the approval from HHS to provide premium subsidies and cost-sharing subsidies to individuals who have purchased their qualified health plans directly from carriers rather than going through the health exchange.
There was also a failed bipartisan effort to require that all exchange executives and state elected officials who get state-sponsored health insurance to obtain it through the exchange (reminiscent of Senator Grassley’s amendment in the ACA). Here’s a summary of important Oregon bills:
Gov. Brown signed OR SB1 into law on March 6, 2015, which resulted in the ending of Cover Oregon and its board of directors. The remaining responsibilities were assigned to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. Though the act was effective immediately, the full transfer was not complete until late June of 2015.
Oregon HB 2342 was signed into law in August of 2017, granting the state of Oregon the authority to take a variety of steps to stabilize the individual market, in the event that federal changes are made to the ACA.
SB 558 was also signed into law by Governor Brown in August 2017, securing access to the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) coverage for all children with household income up to 305 percent of the poverty level, regardless of immigration status.
Finding cheap health insurance rate options in a tough economy
With a lengthy stretch of double-digit unemployment throughout the years, many Oregonians are at risk of losing their health coverage or struggling to keep up with their increasing monthly premiums. You have only a ten-day grace period for premiums before your health insurance policy can be canceled by a health insurance company in Oregon. Many other carriers are now opting to reduce that grace period if they can get away with it.
If you have lost your job and your employer is still in business, you can enroll in the COBRA health program, which continues your current group plan even after you leave your position. However, those monthly premiums can get expensive quickly and most people simply cannot afford to do so. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, another option is to seek a new, lower-cost health plan with an insurance company through the exchange. In Oregon, so long as you apply within 60 days of losing your employer-based coverage, this constitutes as a qualified life event allowing you to enroll in a major medical plan. If you have other questions that specifically relate to the health insurance in a tough economy, simply give us a call and a licensed professional agent will assist you in your search.