Thursday, March 13, 2014

Only Half Who Complete Cover Oregon Applications Select Plans

Note: If the pdf links (first two and beyond) don't open in your browser, try using Internet Explorer. I'm having trouble opening them in Firefox. :-/

By March 1, Cover Oregon had 38,806 "Plan Selections".* But, that rate was barely 51% of 76,223 completed applications** received (not including Medicaid or CHIP eligible individuals).

Considering that an estimated 150,000 Oregonians have had their health care coverage cancelled because of Obamacare regulations, an enrollment rate of 39,000 is not a good sign that more Oregonians have health care coverage since Obamacare and Cover Oregon became active.

Even adding the 104,715 Oregonians deemed eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, we are significantly short of the 220,000 Oregon state Sen. Lee Beyer claimed as now insured out of the 500,000 Oregon is trying to get covered.

And it doesn't look like the Federal government will help by extending Oregon's enrollment period.

Cover Oregon is seeking an extension of the enrollment period beyond March 31, but the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) has said it does not have authority to grant such extensions. The Statesman Journal reports:
"Officials with the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said during a monthly update on health insurance exchanges that the department does not plan nor have the authority to extend the open enrollment period beyond March 31."
[emphasis added]
It isn't promising if HHS doesn't think it has the authority to extend open enrollment in light of all the changes that HHS has made in enrollment procedures and deadlines.**
*Cover Oregon spokesman Michael Cox says since the end of February Cover Oregon has enrolled 5,000 more. The terms "selections" and "enrolled" are used without clear data on whether the "first premium payment ha[s] been received directly by the Marketplace or the issuer."

**A complex 19(!) page document.

***The most recent being a delay of the individual mandate until 2016 for those who have lost their coverage due to Obamacare regulations.


MAX Redline said...

Good post, TD. Not only have only half of completed applications been followed up with a plan selection, nobody knows how many of those who did make a plan selection actually followed up by making a premium payment. So, apart from those who were "fast-tracked" into Medicaid, we're undoubtedly well short in terms of those actually insured.

Moreover, Oregon is tied with West Virginia for the coveted title of Dead Last in the Country when it comes to that group of 18-34 year-olds who were supposed to be essential to Obamacare. Of course, if you're 18 years old and you can be on your parents' plan until you hit age 27, why the heck would you pay nine years of premiums? What that provision really did was create not a class of 18 to 34 year-olds, but a class of 27 to 34 year-olds. Rather a big difference.

And in an interview March 6, Barky pointed out that if people can't pay for their insurance premiums, they should look at their phone, cell, and television bills - because it may turn out that they simply haven't prioritized health care. Of course, Sebilius admitted this week that next year's premiums will escalate, so after cutting phone, cell, and television, folks can look into cutting back on heat and electricity so their priorities are straight.

BTW: the .pdf files open in Chrome as well as I.E.

T. D. said...

Max, you've been on the cutting edge with this. I first read the Oregonian article on Oregon's low sign up rate for the young via your post.

Interesting that the Oregonian had great links (which I've used in this post) and not so great analysis of the data in the links. The Statesman Journal, by contrast, had great facts, but no where to go to see the basis or more of the story. I put the two together for this post.

Obama's statement on a $36,000 family not having right priorities is priceless. All the while those Latino, black and young voters thought he was talking about the rich guys ($250,000+) paying their fair share. Now it turns out that it's the $36,000 people who are not paying their fair share.

As Sarah Palin said in her CPAC speech, someone always pays for "free" things, and if you don't know who it is, it's probably you.

MAX Redline said...

Sarah comes up with some remarkable insights for a supposed bimbo. :-)

You did a much more thorough analysis than I did on this, TD. I just try to keep tabs on what's going on and stay in front of the train wreck so I know which way to leap before it hits.

This will come as a huge shock, but I read last night that the Oregon website won't be operational before the March 31 enrollment deadline. But at least Dr. John said he has no problem with being held accountable (as he walks out of interviews whenever the subject is raised).

T. D. said...

Apparently there are going to be some extensions of the timeline. At least to federal high risk pools.

Also, it seems the President is sensitive to criticism that he might not dress sharp. It continues to get his attention when people like Palin in her CPAC speech mention his wearing mom jeans or a lady at The Gap say he might need new jeans.