With its online insurance marketplace out of commission and unavailable to the public indefinitely, the state has resorted to urging would-be subscribers to fill out applications that are between nine and 19 pages long by hand, said Michael Cox, a spokesman for Cover Oregon.The Associated Press reports that 70,000 have enrolled in Oregon's Medicaid plan through an easy seven-question enrollment process. However, for those who do not qualify for the easy Medicaid sign up, health care in Oregon for the uninsured is not yet available.
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Nearly 25,000 individuals and families have so far submitted hard-copy applications, Cox said, with nearly two-thirds of those applicants eligible for Medicaid, a federal-state healthcare plan for the needy.
But none of those applicants has actually been enrolled, with manual processing of the paperwork slowing the process dramatically.
For consumers, the application process can be long and frustrating._____
"I've been trying since the very first day of October just to try to find out the coverage I could get," said Donna George*, 43, a bookkeeper from Bend, Ore., who's been uninsured for three years.
When the online system wouldn't work, George submitted a paper application Oct. 7 for herself and her husband. Finally, on Nov. 12, she received an enrollment packet that tells her how much of a tax credit she'll receive and lays out her coverage options. She's now waiting to meet with her insurance agent to pick a plan and return the forms.
* Interesting that the Associated Press has managed to find an Oregon resident negatively impacted by the Cover Oregon fiasco. To date, Oregonian reporters have not been able to find anyone like Donna George to interview.