On Thursday, Nov. 19, the State of Oregon announced it is joining the national Get Covered 2021 campaign, spearheaded by Get Covered America, Covered California, and the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. Oregon joins 14 states and the District of Columbia that are promoting Get Covered 2021, demonstrating the state’s commitment to helping people stay safe during the pandemic and making sure they have the ability to get quality health care when they need it.
“The pandemic has placed a renewed focus on the importance of staying healthy and safe,” said Gov. Kate Brown. “During this open enrollment period, it’s critical for all of us to seek insurance coverage, not just because of COVID-19, but for preventive care and financial protection in case of serious illnesses and chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. We owe it to ourselves and our families to get covered in order to have access to life-saving services.”
Recognizing the link between COVID-19 and the benefits of health insurance, Get Covered 2021 is focused on two key priorities:
• Stay healthy: Every American has a role to play in reducing the spread of the virus and keeping communities safe through safe practices: Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.
• Get insured: Every American should have affordable insurance coverage to help them stay healthy and get the right care when they need it. Let’s make sure the 16 million people eligible for financial help now know where to go and get help signing up.
Oregon has consistently worked to help Oregonians who do not get health insurance through their job or a program such as the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare to understand their coverage options. This year, Oregonians face additional challenges to getting enrolled in health coverage due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Oregon’s devastating wildfires, but Oregonians should not delay; open enrollment ends Tuesday, Dec. 15. If you miss the deadline, you may not be able to get coverage for 2021.
Financial savings are available for most Oregonians. In 2020, more than seven in 10 Oregonians who chose plans through HealthCare.gov got financial help for monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Individuals making up to $51,040 per year and families of four making up to $104,800 may get help paying for coverage. These savings lowered the average premium to just $145 per month.
“Oregon is proud to be a part of the Get Covered 2021 coalition to advance efforts to protect against COVID-19, and to close the coverage gap by getting all eligible Oregonians enrolled in health insurance,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “We are proud to work alongside all of the partners in the Get Covered 2021 coalition to send the message in Oregon and across the nation that we are standing together to help Americans stay safe and healthy, and that coverage and financial help is there for them during a time they need it the most.”
To get started with health coverage enrollment, people should go to OregonHealthCare.gov before Dec. 15 and answer a few Oregon-specific questions to get to the right application for them. Also, they can search the “get help” directory on the site to find an insurance agent or community partner organization that can help them complete the application and enroll. Insurance agents and community partners provide local, one-on-one assistance at no charge to the client. This help is available virtually and over the phone.