The deadline for people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and Cover Oregon has been extended to April 30. Multnomah County will help you sign up at three more application fairs.
April 30 is the new deadline for Oregon consumers who lack affordable health insurance. Based on your income, you may not be able to enroll again until October. You will only be able to purchase health insurance if you have a qualifying event and you will also face a penalty. A qualifying event includes getting married, adopting, having or placing a child, moving to a new location with different health plan option and losing other health coverage. For people already enrolled, a qualifying event can also include a change in income or household status that affects tax credits.
People with income levels low enough to qualify for the Oregon Health Plan can enroll at any time throughout the year. But why wait? The Multnomah County Health Department Cover Oregon Information and Screening Team will be holding the following application events to help. Please call in advance with interpreter requests at 503-988-2228.
- Wednesday, April 23, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Southeast Health Center, 3653 S.E. 34th Ave, Basement Conference Room, Portland OR 97203
- Friday, April 25, 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Application Fair, East County Health Center, 600 N.E. 8th Street, Sharon Kelly Room, Gresham, OR 97030
- Tuesday, April 29, 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., McCoy Building, 426 S.W. Stark, 10th floor conference room, Portland.
Carmen Ruiz, a working mother of two, was able to choose a plan and sign up easily at a Multnomah County application fair recently. "It feels amazing to have it done,'' Ruiz said after a Cover Oregon certified insurance agent helped her apply.
Ruiz attended a Multnomah County application fair at East County to find out what plan worked best for her. While her two children waited patiently, Brandi Sage, a certified insurance agent with DDI Benefits, helped her review her choices of private health and dental insurane and choose a plan.
"I haven't been able to get insurance through work,'' Ruiz said. Without insurance, she had faced steep medical bills last year when she needed treatment for kidney stones. "It was really stressful,'' she said. "I had to turn to every single member of my family for support and to this day, I'm in debt.''
David Smith, a bartender who was recently laid off, was also relieved to be signing up for insurance. He met with Tasha Brooks, a Multnomah County eligiblity specialist.
"I haven't had a primary care physician in a long, long time. Now if something goes wrong I feel like a have a safety net.''
Smith said as a working person, having health coverage is critical.
"When people are three steps from the edge, not having health insurance is a big issue. This gives people money in their pocket and the chance to build something with their lives. I'm excited about it."
The events are for application assistance only and not to check the status of an existing application. If you have already enrolled and want to check your application, contact Cover Oregon at 855-268-3767 or Oregon Health Plan Processing at 800-699-9075