Affordable Care Act

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Clinic Health Beat

Health clinic signThe Affordable Care Act

The open enrollment period for health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act opens November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015.

People already enrolled in Medicaid (OHP) don't need to do anything, until the state sends you a renewal letter. If you are not already enrolled in Medicaid (OHP) residents eligible for OHP can apply at Oregon.gov for now or at HealthCare.gov. (Some people, including pregnant women, refugees and people with disabilities, will continue to use the hybrid manual process even after Nov. 15).

You may also purchase insurance even if you don't qualify for OHP. Residents buying private insurance for the first time who think they qualify for a tax credit must use HealthCare.gov to shop for plans and enroll. Americans making less than 400% of the federal poverty level are eligible for a subsidy, also called advanced premium tax credits. Those who don't believe they qualify for a subsidy can buy coverage outside the exchange, directly through carriers.

All Oregon residents who previously enrolled in a private plan via Cover Oregon must re-enroll via HealthCare.gov. Those who do not want a break in coverage come January must re-enroll by Dec. 15 for coverage starting Jan. 1. Unlike people in other states that rely on the federal portal, Oregon residents with existing Cover Oregon plans will not be automatically re-enrolled in their old plan if they do nothing.

BOTTOM LINE, WHAT WEBSITE TO USE: Most residents should use HealthCare.Gov. CoverOregon.com will continue to serve as a source of information. The old website will also connect residents to community partners, navigators, and insurance agents and will allow people to make appointments with them online via a finder tool. Residents can also go to OregonHealthCare.gov to get enrollment information. Both sites will redirect people to the federal portal, HealthCare.gov.