Tech delays result in extension for Oregon health exchange


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Residents of Oregon now have until the end of April to sign up for health care insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act as a result of technology issues that lengthened the time it takes to enroll in the program through the state’s exchange.

Gov. John Kitzhaber made the announced Thursday following a discussion with Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

“I know that for too many Oregonians, the Cover Oregon website and its ongoing technical problems have created delays, confusion and frustration,” Kitzhaber said. “I worked with Secretary Sebelius to give Oregonians more opportunity to secure health care coverage and get the financial help they deserve.”

Oregon will use the extended application period to target people purchasing private health insurance coverage either through Cover Oregon or directly from an insurance carrier as federal guidelines allow each state that receives an extended deadline to take whatever approach it feels necessary.

Those who apply for coverage from a private plan through Cover Oregon before April 30 and then later enroll will not be subject to a potential federal tax penalty. People who apply and enroll in plans outside of Cover Oregon between April 1-30 may have to pay a partial federal penalty.

The Oregon Insurance Division will provide more information about how penalties may apply to individuals who do not apply for coverage through Cover Oregon.

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Oregon, States