Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15, you can go to OregonHealthCare.gov to:
• Estimate if you will qualify for help paying for coverage
• Skim the different plans available in your area
• See what the plans cover, and how much they cost
• Find a local expert who can help you apply for a subsidy and enroll in a plan
OregonHealthCare.gov is the online home of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government. It is the state-level partner of HealthCare.gov, the national website where people enroll in Marketplace plans and access subsidies.
Last year, more than 148,000 people in Oregon got coverage through the Marketplace.
One of those Oregonians was Stephanie S., who responded when the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace asked consumers to describe their coverage experiences.
“My husband and I both own a small business together. Since we left the corporate world, we needed to find our own health care solutions,” she said. “We eventually went to the website, and was able to filter through, answer the questions, and got to the one package that fit our needs the best.”
Health insurance sold through the Marketplace is individual and family coverage offered by private companies, such as Bridgespan, Kaiser, Moda, PacificSource, and Providence. Not every company is available in every part of the state, but at least two insurance companies and at least seven plan choices are available everywhere in Oregon. In the Portland metro area, all five companies offer a total of 41 plan options.
Anyone legally present in the United States may shop through the Marketplace. People without job-based coverage, and who are not eligible for the Oregon Health Plan, are the most likely to qualify for subsidies.
Subsidies make a big difference to those who qualify. Karl B. is a home-remodeling contractor who got coverage through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace and agreed to share his story.
“My subsidy is about $250 a month,” Karl said. “In the end, I think I’m paying somewhere between $100 and $200 a month, and that’s to be a great price point.”
Stephanie and Karl are among the Oregonians who appear in videos the Marketplace produced for this year’s open enrollment campaign. Excerpts are available at http://bit.ly/marketplace-consumers.
For 2019, more than 74 percent of Oregonians who enrolled through the Marketplace got subsidies. Among those who got subsidies, the average amount they paid per month for coverage was $140. The financial assistance varies with a person’s income; larger subsidies generally go to people with lower incomes. The best way to estimate your own subsidy is to go to OregonHealthCare.gov/windowshop.
Oregonians can apply for subsidies and enroll online on their own, or they can get free, local help with the application. Insurance agents and community-based advocates providing that assistance are listed at OregonHealthCare.gov/gethelp or call 855-269-3767 (toll-free).
Open enrollment lasts until Dec. 15. for 2020 coverage. Once the deadline passes, people can buy insurance only when they have a major life change, such as having a baby, adopting a child, or losing other health insurance.