MEDFORD, Ore. — Less than a week remains to sign up for health insurance through Cover Oregon, and as agent Ed Steffens sits in his office, he knows there are plenty of people out there who still need coverage.
“Well, most people are aware that they need to do something but they haven’t had time to deal with it, or they’ve been confused about the rules,” said Steffens.
If those without insurance don’t get covered by the 31st, they will have to pay a penalty and wait until the next enrollment period opens in November. That enrollment, however, is for 2015 which means time is ticking for coverage for the rest of this year.
“It definitely has been busier. People are very aware of the deadline, some people are just becoming aware of the deadline, but the deadline is a hard and fast March 31st,” said Steffens.
Cover Oregon reports 160,000 Oregonians who have enrolled since October, but officials said they are hoping to get as many as possible.
“We have projected numbers, we’ve been revising those, but right now we’re focused on getting as many as Oregonians as possible,” said Cover Oregon spokesperson Ariane Holm.
Officials said they expect to hear back from the federal government any day now, about their request to extend the enrollment period.
“We hope to give Oregonians more time to enroll in a plan,” said Holm.
Steffens said while the Cover Oregon website still isn’t fully functional for everyone, there is still time for agents like him to help out.
“The agent portal is functional so we do have access finally to that system. That’s going to be the best bet for people who have put it off this long, but we can still help them,” said Steffens.